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Columbia Police Chief says most are complying with citywide stay-at-home order

Police Chief Holbrook said calls for service have been slower, and the agency has not had an on-the-job exposure to date.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The citywide stay-at-home order in Columbia went into effect Sunday.    

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Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said most people have been complying with the order.

"We have seen very good compliance in general," Holbrook said.

Holbrook said so far, a few days into the citywide stay at home order, most people have been doing just that, staying home. The citywide order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. this past Sunday.

"Often times it is innocent violations, sometimes it's not," Holbrook said. "Anytime we've encountered any of those scenarios, we explain why they can't be in groups of three or more or that it's not essential for them to be out. We haven't had any push back from anyone."

Holbrook said they have only issued two citations related to curfews. And as far as arresting anyone for not complying, the chief said that would only be a last resort.

"We've had some of our young adults, and I said from the very beginning, just don't quite get it," Holbrook said. "We had some gatherings I would not classify as recreational gatherings, that we had to disperse, and we had good compliance from our young adults, too, but that's a little frustrating, and it takes us away from doing more important things like being present preventing crime."'

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Although the agency has put new procedures in place to protect officers answering calls, they are still out patrolling in full force. 

"It has not been an impediment," Holbrook said. "We are out there in full strength, highly visible. If you call us were coming."

Holbrook said calls for service have been slower and comparably below average. He also says the agency has not had an on-the-job exposure to date, and hopes to keep it that way.

"Stay home, if at all possible," Holbrook said.

The stay-at-home order will last for two weeks.

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