(11-18-20) Yesterday, Governor DeWine ordered a curfew beginning Thursday November 19 at 10:00 PM. The curfew will be from 10 PM to 5 AM daily and will last 21 days.

After the press conference Sheriff Grey participated in a conference call with other Ohio Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police and the Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Across Ohio, and as we know, in Mercer County, the death toll is rising and our local hospital is filling up. The request from the Director of Public Safety and from Governor DeWine during the press conference is “soft enforcement.”

Sheriff Grey does not have copy of the order yet, however, it appears dining in at restaurants will need to be done by 10 PM, but delivery and carry out is still permitted. Gas stations, grocery stores, and pharmacies are allowed to be open during the curfew period and you may still go to work if you work during those hours.

The overall goal of the Governor’s Order is to encourage people not to congregate during those hours in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus and to keep the hospitals from being overrun with patients. Hospital capacity in our county is running high at the current time. Keep in mind, beds needed for COVID patients are beds not available for other non-covid health issues, for example, heart attacks and strokes.

Sheriff Grey is not going debate the existence or seriousness of the virus, the reliability of numbers, or the reliability of tests. Sheriff Grey will also not debate agreement or disagreement with the order. Sheriff Grey does believe we have a county health department and a local hospital that is working very hard to try to keep us healthy and safe. The purpose of this post is to lay out the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office plan of action regarding this most recent Governor’s order.

Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputies will not be making random traffic stops to determine if you are violating the curfew order. Our approach will remain as it has been during this pandemic. We will use good judgement and common sense. We will ask our citizens to do the same and to treat our local health department and health care workers with the appreciation they deserve as they serve our health needs.

Sheriff Grey and every employee of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office has taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Ohio. We intend to always uphold that oath.

Thank you for your continuing support of the men and women of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office. Members of this agency feel it is an honor and privilege to serve you. Thank you for allowing us to do that.