The city of Detroit is increasing its Big Brother-type controls to ensure residents abide by social distancing orders.
City leaders are growing increasingly annoyed with residents who are ignoring commands, as the city comprises 6.7 percent of Michigan’s population but one-quarter of the state’s coronavirus cases.
“We are going to have to deal far more strictly with enforcing the governor’s executive order on social distancing,” Mayor Mike Duggan said on Friday.
“I expect the police department to be very strong in dealing with groups that are gathered and have no reason to be in public,” he said.
According to the Metro Times, the city has begun removing basketball rims at public parks to discourage congregating.
The Bridge reported:
Duggan acknowledged city officials had “significant debate … about closing parks” but settled on increased patrols, plane flyovers and video surveillance to disperse crowds.
“If we have to close parks, we’ll close parks,” the mayor said, according to the Times.
“We don’t want to do that. A vast majority of the city has been terrific. People are angry when they see these gatherings. We’re going to step up the tickets and take stricter and stricter actions until we get more enforcement.”
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon issued an order authorizing police to fine violators up to $1,000 or six months in jail.
Meanwhile, on the west side of the state, officials at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are “not enforcing the social distancing order on an individual basis,” according to The Bridge.
“Rangers are not out there policing with a tape measure,” park superintendent Scott Tucker said.
“If folks are in the park, we’re assuming they’re there for the right reasons.”