Police can enforce emergency orders issued by state, local officials

Pfc. Gustavo Escalera, of the Arizona National Guard, waves in the next car to his station at the Southern Arizona Community Food Bank on March 27, 2020. The Arizona National Guard has been activated to help the demanding need to fill and handout food boxes for people in Tucson and five counties in southern Arizona. /Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star

Police and sheriffs deputies are legally entitled to enforce emergency proclamations and orders issued by state and local officials, according to Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

In a formal opinion Tuesday, Brnovich said it’s not just the governor who can declare an emergency and issue restrictions. He said city mayors and the chairs of boards of supervisors have many of the same powers as the governor to declare an emergency.

And those powers, detailed in Arizona law, can range from curfews and closing streets to ordering any business to close.

But Brnovich also had a word of caution for those called upon to enforce those orders.

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