Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones today announced that he has lifted the limits he imposed on traffic enforcement during the City of Columbia's declared health emergency. Under a special order issued in 2020, officers had been authorized to stop drivers only for hazardous moving violations and where indicated for criminal investigation purposes.

"The health emergency called for clear action to limit exposure to the highly contagious Coronavirus," Jones said. "We had to balance law enforcement and protecting the public and our employees from the virus."

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The City Code creates a duty for police to report for prosecution anyone who violates City ordinances. Jones said that he regularly hears complaints from people who are concerned about enforcement of traffic laws.

"Every day, we enforce laws against hazardous moving violations like speeding and lane violations. People also have a sense of frustration about expired registrations and how that might affect vehicle equipment and safety," Jones said.

Because the Coronavirus still is active in Columbia, officers continue to take health precautions. "We have guidelines for checking temperatures, wearing masks and protective gear, sanitizing our vehicles and work spaces and making sure that people who are ill or exposed to the virus stay home," Jones said.

Filed Under: Government, City

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