ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — While there has been talk of loosening restrictions from Gov. Kay Ivey’s stay at home order issued last month, law enforcement officials say while they are continuing to monitor the situation, for the most part local residents have complied with the order.
“There is a potential for arrests to be made, but so far everyone has been pretty cooperative,” said Capt. Clint Cadenhead with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Central Investigations Command, based in Robertsdale. “Early on we had a couple of issues with funerals where there were 50 to 100 people, but we certainly haven’t gone in looking to make arrests. It was mostly just about going in and talking to people about being compliant.”
Cadenhead said the biggest concentration of compliance with the order has been focused on the beach areas.
“We have officers patrolling the beach with ATVs along Fort Morgan Road, just situations where if they see someone on the beach, they go and talk to them and ask them to leave,” he said. “Again, for the most part people have been compliant with what we’re trying to get them to do.”
So far, the Sheriff’s Department has made no arrests specifically tied for the stay at home order, Cadenhead said. One arrest for holding an open house party in Spanish Fort was an ongoing issue involving a mother charged with hosting parties for her under-aged son and was not directly related to social distancing compliance.
In April, there have been three bookings listed on the Baldwin County Corrections Facility website that appear to be tied to the order.
Brandon Earl Channell, 40, of Daphne was booked April 10 through the Daphne Police Department, charged with third degree burglary, violation of quarantine and a probation violation. As of presstime, Channell remained in jail without bond.
Capt. Jud Beedy with the Daphne Police Department said the arrest was related to a burglary in the middle of the night.
“Since he was out in the middle of the night, we decided that it was a violation of the stay at home order,” Beedy said, “so the charge was added.”
Beedy said only one other person in Daphne has been charged with violating the stay at home order, also a late-night burglary arrest.
“So far everyone in Daphne seems to be complying with the stay at home order,” Beedy said.
Two other people were booked April 9 by the Gulf Shores Police Department, charged with violation of orders, rules and regulations by the governor, in addition to third degree burglary, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Jimmy Albert Holbrook, 49; and Kaci Lynette Holbrook, 48, both of Bay Minette were both booked by the Gulf Shores Police Department on those charges. Jimmy Holbrook was released on $500 bond. Kaci Holbrook was released on $5,000 bond.
Sgt. Jason Woodruff, public information officer with the Gulf Shores Police Department, said the charges were added simply because it was determined that the two individuals were in Gulf Shores for no other reason than to commit the crime.
“It was really a unique situation,” he said. “Beyond that we have no other arrests pertaining to the stay at home order.”
Woodruff said officers on routine patrols on the beach encounter anywhere from four to 12 people a day.
“For the most part, those encounters have been positive,” he said. “They are mostly people who come down and just want to get a look at the beach. It’s been an opportunity for our officers to have a positive interaction with the public.”
Cadenhead said while he could not speak to charges brought by other law enforcement agencies, he said “if you’re out when your not supposed to be out, doing something you’re not supposed to be doing, then you could be charged with a violation of the order.”
Under state statutes, Cadenhead said, a violation of the stay at home order is a Class C misdemeanor. Anyone in violation of the order could face up to three months in prison, along with fines that could be determined by a judge at sentencing.
“Again, we are not looking to go around arresting people for violation the stay at home order,” he said. “We want people to comply with what we’re asking them to do and so far, people have been cooperative.”