Several Capital Region sheriffs say they won't enforce gathering order | WNYT.com

Several Capital Region sheriffs say they won't enforce gathering order

WNYT Staff
Updated: November 16, 2020 07:00 PM
Created: November 16, 2020 06:12 AM

At least three Capital Region sheriffs say they won't enforce Gov. Cuomo's Thanksgiving executive order limiting the amount of people at holiday celebrations.

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino posted to social media that an executive order applying directly to citizens for private conduct is usually not a law. He says there are no penalties attached, and you can't be arrested.

He added that he was not sure it could sustain a constitutional challenge in court for a several reasons including-- your house is your castle.

Meanwhile, a statement from Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo's office says, "I can't see how devoting our resources to counting cars in citizens' driveways or investigating how much turkey and dressing they've purchased is for the public good."

Rensselaer County Sheriff Patrick Russo released this statement:

“Rensselaer County consists of 667 square miles, and is usually patrolled by two or three deputies per shift. In the event a call comes in to check on a residence, if the deputies aren’t tied up on another call or an arrest, obtaining a search warrant to enter the home could take several hours. We need to prioritize our calls and don’t have the time to spend those hours waiting.”

NewsChannel 13 spoke with Sheriff Craig Apple about the same issue.

"I think sometimes it is in the messaging, and some people would rather be asked to do something or not to do it, as opposed to being told," Sheriff Apple said. "I'm asking people, please, abide by the rules. Bars close at 10 p.m., you can do curbside takeout until midnight, and gyms close at 10 p.m. The gatherings, listen we just want everyone to be safe that is all. We aren't trying to bust anybody's stones or wreck holidays. We have lost many great people due to this pandemic. I know that fatigue has kicked in and it is very concerning."

County officials believe an order of that kind can certainly affect businesses who refuse to comply, but shouldn't impact people's private lives.


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