Cherokee Co. Sheriff details how they’ll enforce state’s ‘home or work’ order

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CHEROKEE CO., S.C. (WSPA) – 7 News learned how local law enforcement agencies are responding to Governor Henry McMaster’s mandatory “home or work” order.

We spoke with the Cherokee County sheriff and learned what they’re doing to make sure people obey that order.

“Let’s make sure that we live our life in faith and not in fear,” Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller said.

After getting multiple calls from people in his community who were concerned about the governor’s home or work order, Sheriff Steve Mueller decided to make some things clear.

“If you look at the governor’s order, it still allows people to do what they need to do,” Mueller said.

Sheriff Mueller said some folks were worried about being pulled over by deputies.

“We’re not setting up checkpoints, trying to see if people have travel documents,” he said. “We’re not in the Soviet Union, so you don’t need travel documents to go to your workplace or these essential businesses that remain open.”

Mueller said some were afraid they’d get in trouble for riding in a car with others.

“If you’re out here drinking and driving, yes, we’re going to stop you. We’re going to do our job. If you’re out speeding, yes, you could get stopped,” he said. “But we’re not specifically stopping you because you have more than three people in a car or because you’re not maintaining social distancing in a car. It’s not possible.”

If you are pulled over, they may ask you where you’re headed, and Sheriff Mueller said they’re going to trust that you tell them the truth.

“We don’t know if they’re truly going to work,” he said. “We don’t know if they’re going to the grocery store.”

Mueller told 7 News one of the biggest things he’s worried about are gatherings over the holiday weekend.

“The law says they have to be in their home,” he said. “So, if there are 30 people there and it’s not their home, we have the lawful authority to ask them to disperse under the governor’s order.”

If someone refuses to obey, they could be cited.

“That carries a $100 fine and up to 30 days in jail,” Mueller said.

Mueller told 7 News he hopes people will listen to the governor and to law enforcement, and they won’t have to make any unnecessary arrests.

“Law enforcement is not here to add additional stress on anybody,” he said. “We’re going to exercise that common sense and we’re hoping our citizens will do the same.”

Gaffney Police Chief Chris Skinner told 7 News his agency will be responding the same way as the sheriff’s office.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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