MONROE, Ga. — City attorney Paul Rosenthal warned citizens that local police will be active in breaking up parties exceeding 10 people.

Rosenthal’s warning came the Monroe City Council meeting Tuesday night after Mayor John Howard motioned to remove an ordinance to prohibit gatherings of 10 or more people from the agenda.

“Police have the authority to enforce the order [made by Gov. Brian Kemp] and people violating the order could face a misdemeanor,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal also said local enforcement will most likely give an oral warning prior to fining or charging someone with the misdemeanor.

Later in the meeting, police Chief R.V. Watts said people will see more law enforcement around the city as a way to prevent contamination of officers. For the most part, parties are dispersing among the arrival of law enforcement, Watts said. Most of their calls have been regarding noise complaints and other domestic disputes.

“[Law enforcement] have to wear masks, gloves and eye protection when they interact with citizens,” Watts said.

Other city departments taking action include the Fire Department. Fire Chief Bill Owens has closed the station to the public and they have moved the fire engine company to the airport, which will delay the arrival of the engines by around 60 seconds to the scene.

Most of the city committees are practicing social distancing with their workers, focusing on the necessities and following strict cleanliness practices.


University of Georgia student Grace Townsend is a correspondent for The Walton Tribune. She is a 2018 graduate of North Oconee High School.

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