The city of Lansing is giving police officers the option of issuing fines to people who violate public health orders meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The emergency order was approved Monday evening by the Lansing City Council. The order allows Lansing police officers to enforce public health rules issued by state and local officials with a fine of up to $500 dollars.
In Michigan, those who disobey public health orders can already be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail or a $200 fine.
Peter Spadafore heads the Lansing City Council. He said the order is meant to provide due process for those who violate the orders.
“We don’t want to necessarily give folks criminal records for some of the things unless it's obvious its willful and malicious disregard for those orders,” said Spadafore.
A similar order is already in place in East Lansing. Since its passing two weeks ago, 11 people have been issued citations.
According to East Lansing Police Department Deputy Chief Steven Gonzales, the majority of those citations have been for large gatherings with no or few people wearing masks and no social distancing.