Updated: April 03, 2020 06:15 AM
Created: April 02, 2020 10:02 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The City of Albuquerque is cracking down on non-essential businesses that are operating illegally.
"We are going to begin citations for them," said Mayor Tim Keller.
During a press conference Thursday, city officials detailed the penalties for violating the governor's order.
"I want to educate everybody on the severity of what the penalties are for if they are cited," said Deputy Chief of the Fire Marshall's Office Gene Gallegos. "So criminal penalties based off of the order are $100 or up to six months imprisonment. Again we want to take this really serious. This is — we're trying to protect your families. Our families. And our community, so civil penalties could be up to $5,000 for each situation you are cited for."
The Albuquerque Police Department will be working with New Mexico State Police to make sure non-essential business are following the governor's order.
"The process is if we get a call about a business, first thing we do is our dispatchers will actually call that business and remind them of the governor's order,"Working with APD and state police," said APD Lt. Sean Wallace. "If we get a second call on that individual business, then what we will do is we will actually dispatch an officer. The officer will arrive on scene and remind them of the governor's order and they'll take that in the CAD (computer aided dispatch). The third thing we'll do if we get a third and subsequent call about that business is we will send an officer. They will again remind them of the order, they'll write a report on it and it's forwarded to the governor."
Mayor Keller says the city has gotten calls about a few businesses including barber shops, salons, massage parlors and smoke shops.
"A store that sells a few candy bars is not a grocery store," Keller said. "I think we all know the spirit of this but right now we are aware of a few businesses that are trying to get around this closure order by, you know, putting out some snacks on the counter. So we're going to go with the basic definition of a grocery store."
The city has reported more than 70 businesses to State Police.
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