With the coronavirus pandemic in full effect across South Florida, members of the Miami-Dade Police Department have been tasked with a new role: enforcing the rules set up to keep residents as healthy as possible.
Members of the department have been going from business to business across the area to make sure ordinances requiring masks and social distancing, among other rules, are being followed.
”We’ve done more than about 350,000 business contacts since we started the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MDPD Detective Alvaro Zabeleta.
Officers speak with employees and customers at each location while also taking a look at signage and sanitary measures.
“Since we went back to phase one recently, we’ve already closed 21 businesses for non-compliance,” said Zabeleta.
Officers make more than 500 compliance checks a day - and aside from random checks, they also respond to complaints.
“We’re not doing it to hurt our businesses. We’re not doing it to financially impact our businesses. What we’re doing it for is the safety to maintain the health of our residents and to make sure we don’t fall back to a complete closure,” Zabeleta added.
If a non-compliant business is shut down, to reopen they must review the new guidelines and submit an affidavit to prove they have met the requirements.
At police headquarters in Doral, they’ve also set up a command post to monitor and investigate the complaints that come in from across the county.
“We’re all in this together,” Zabeleta said. “We need to stay healthy. Let’s comply with the rules so we can get out of this once and for all.”
If you see a business that is violating orders for social distancing or masks, you can call 305-4-POLICE to report the location.