See someone breaking NJ’s COVID-19 rules? There’s a form for that
Executive orders from Gov. Phil Murphy aimed at limiting the transmission of COVID-19 remain in effect as the Garden State attempts to recover from the health crisis.
And you're still being urged to report individuals or businesses in New Jersey that appear to be breaking the rules.
Since the end of March, the state has received more than 34,300 executive-order violation reports from the public, through a form on its COVID-19 information hub website, according to the Attorney General's Office.
"The original concept was actually a phone number, but due to the overwhelming call volume, we moved it to an automated form," said Jared Maples, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
The form allows folks to report any perceived violation of an executive order. But it specifically mentions the following violations:
Reports can be made anonymously. That could make the complaint more difficult to investigate, however, according to the form.
On a weekly basis, the OHSP organizes the COVID-19 noncompliance reports by county and sends the information to the New Jersey State Police and the AG's Office. The information is then disseminated to the appropriate county prosecutor’s office for review and possible law enforcement action, the AG's Office said.
In most cases, according to NJSP Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan, issues are pushed to local departments.
Callahan advised residents against taking matters into their own hands during this pandemic, should a potential violation be observed.
"I would say avoiding those encounters is probably the best recommendation, and to just leave it up to law enforcement, whether that's with this form or whether that's, if it's more egregious, with a call to 9-1-1 to have police dispatched to the location," Callahan said.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at email@example.com.