Enforcing social distancing guidelines

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The state of Mississippi has been under a shelter in place order for nearly a week now and many cities in the state including Meridian have a curfew.

Meridian Interim Police Chief Lewis Robbins says overall, residents are responding well to the new guidelines.

“I rode around today and looked at some things, those needed businesses- people are going in and out of those stores,” said Robbins. “But there are also stores that are not essential that are closed and regrettably so, but for the most part people are doing exactly as the executive order and the governor's order, they're complying with that."

When MPD receives a complaint about people not following guidelines, code enforcement officers with community development respond to the call and talk to residents about the importance of following the temporary instructions.

Robbins said there are consequences for those who don’t cooperate.

“We have not had a lot that has been charged with curfew but we have had several violations of the executive order in the last few days,” said Robbins. “They would be cited and released to come back to a court date, we don't want to do that unless we just absolutely have to.”

As of now, the statewide shelter in place order is expected to end April 20th.