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City Helps Enforce State’s Public Health Order

April 8, 2020

The Albuquerque Police Department is working with Albuquerque Fire Rescue and the City’s Code Enforcement Division to enforce the State’s public health emergency order. The order was expanded Tuesday to further limit business operations to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

APD has worked with 140 business owners and managers to educate them about the State’s order since March 22.

On Tuesday, APD ramped up enforcement and issued 10 formal warnings to those businesses that refuse to shut down if they are deemed non-essential under the order. Businesses have three hours from the formal warning to shut down, or they will be cited. APD will also issue warnings to essential businesses that do not follow public health guidelines.

“We know this new reality is tough on businesses and workers, but it’s extremely important that everyone is following the public health orders to keep us all safe,” Mayor Keller said. “We all have to remember the goal is literally to save lives.”

APD is issuing warnings that must be signed by the business owner or manager. If officers are called to the same business a second time, they will be cited.

APD is coordinating with State Police to make sure businesses are following the State’s public health orders. State police will focus on the surrounding areas and APD will focus on Albuquerque.

A Second Violation may be cited as a petty misdemeanor for violating a Department of Health Public Health Order under New Mexico’s Public Health Act and is punishable by a fine of up to $100 and/or up to six months in jail.

A Third Violation, and each following violation, may be referred to the New Mexico Department of Health, the New Mexico State Police, and/or the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office for violating New Mexico’s Public Health Emergency Response Act and each violation is punishable by a civil administrative penalty of up to $5,000.