Caldwell County Law Enforcement Agencies statement regarding the recent Stay At Home Order

LENOIR, NC (March 31, 2020) — North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a Stay At Home Order effective at 5:00 p.m. yesterday, March 30, 2020. The order was included in the Governor’s Executive Order 121 (EO121). The Stay at Home order is in effect through April 29, 2020 but can be revised or extended.

Under the Stay at Home order, residents can still:

• Go to work, if they are providing essential services
• Go to the grocery store or pharmacy to buy food or medicine
• Go to medical appointments after first checking with their medical provider
• Go to restaurants for takeout, delivery, or drive thru
• Go outside for exercise, while following the social distancing guidelines
• Visit a family member to provide care
• Volunteer

If residents are not involved in these activities, they should stay at home.

Click here to read EO121

Click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions about EO121

The Governor’s order does not require that people carry some type of documentation or letter giving them permission to travel. The public is allowed to travel and go outside for all of the reasons allowed in EO121. Officers are not looking for letters which give people permission to be outside their home, nor are our agencies giving permission to people to be outside of their home.

However, we want to make certain that our residents know that violating this order may result in a Class 2 misdemeanor. An example of violating the order would be driving around just to visit stores without intending to buy essential goods or services. All state and local law enforcement agencies are tasked with enforcing Governor Cooper’s order.

We have received multiple calls asking if our officers plan to stop people or arrest people if they are driving or are outside their homes. We want to remind our residents that the Fourth Amendment is still in full effect. Officers MUST have a reasonable and articulable suspicion to conduct an investigative stop. Our officers WILL NOT stop vehicles for the sole purpose of checking to see if people are following the Stay at Home order.

We know this is challenging time, but we all have a responsibility to help protect EACH OTHER during this pandemic. Everyone needs to understand and adopt this “new normal” for ourselves and each other. We urge all residents of Caldwell County, Granite Falls, Hudson, and Lenoir to voluntarily follow the Governor’s order and support these public health recommendations. Hopefully, we can get back to normal in the near future.

Sheriff Alan Jones
Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office

Chief Brent Phelps
Lenoir Police Department

Chief Richard Blevins
Hudson Police Department

Chief Chris Jenkins
Granite Falls Police Department