Waterloo regional police won't conduct 'random vehicle or individual stops' under new COVID-19 measures
KITCHENER -- Waterloo regional police say they don't plan to randomly stop people or vehicles to ask why they are out of their homes under the province-wide stay-at-home order.
On Friday, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones gave police across the province temporary powers to enforce the order by asking people why they left their homes.
"We have made the deliberate decision to temporarily enhance police officers' authority for the duration of the stay-at-home order. Moving forward, police will have the authority to require any individual who is not in a place of residence to first provide the purpose for not being at home and provide their home address," Jones said.
In a release on Friday evening, regional police said they "will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops."
"As before, our initiatives will be both complaint driven or proactive, with the goal of gaining compliance. Those that refuse to comply will receive the appropriate penalty," the release said in part.
Officials said they're reviewing the new regulations to "determine the most appropriate enforcement response."
They said they would continue to focus on engaging and educating people, with enforcement as a last resort.
According to Jones, the decision was made because some people continue to leave their homes for non-essential reasons. Anyone not complying could receive a ticket.
The province introduced several new measures on Friday, including extending the stay-at-home order until at least May 20 and further restricting gatherings, essential retail store capacity and outdoor amenities like playgrounds and golf courses.