Governor's executive order takes hold. Local law enforcement says things are calm and people are cooperating

By Ed Martin, Editor
Kings County Sheriff David Robinson (file photo)
Kings County Sheriff David Robinson (file photo)

Kings County law enforcement officials are reporting that staffing levels are pretty much normal following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Thursday night state of emergency executive order asking most Californians to keep to their homes, but exempting those critical workers needed to keep the state’s massive economic and essential services functioning.

In places like Los Angeles and San Francisco, from Sacramento to Lemoore, the normal bustle of everyday life has slowed down, except for the folks who protect Californians, grow the food that makes its way to local supermarket shelves, and keep the medicine flowing and the hospitals open.

In response to the governor’s order, the city of Lemoore announced that its offices would be closed to the public Friday (March 20). City officials said the offices would reopen for limited services on Monday, March 23.

However, all essential services, including law enforcement, fire, water, wastewater, and refuse services, will continue to operate as usual. The public will not experience a decrease in essential services, stated a press release.

Residents are reminded that utility payments should be paid online at, by mailing the payment, or placing it in one of the city’s two drop boxes located at 711 W. Cinnamon Drive.

City officials will continue to provide updates through their website and Facebook page.

Lemoore Police Chief Michael Kendall
Lemoore Police Chief Michael Kendall

Kings County Sheriff David Robinson agrees with the governor’s order that effectively asks that millions of Californians remain in their homes and that only those needed to maintain the state’s infrastructure, are allowed out and about.

Gov. Newsome's Executive Order

In his order, Newsom identified at least 16 critical infrastructure sectors that need to continue their work because of their importance to Californians’ health and well-being.

“The supply chain must continue, and Californians must have access to such necessities as food, prescriptions, and health care,” stated the governor’s edict. “When people need to leave their homes or places of residence, whether to obtain or perform the functions above or to otherwise facilitate authorized necessary activities, they should at all times practice social distancing.”

Kings County, as of March 20, has not reported a single confirmed case of COVID-19. However, the Kings County Department of Health is monitoring at least eight persons.  Newsom’s executive order comes at a critical time. The California Department of Public Health, as of March 19, has reported a total of 1,006 positive cases and 19 deaths.

Sheriff Robinson is upbeat about the governor’s decision to lock down the state. His deputies, and the cities’ police departments, including the Lemoore Police Department, are essential elements of the governor’s order. They’ll keep doing their jobs as will members of the Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department.

“You have to listen to what the governor has to say,” Robinson told The Leader. “They just want people to stay home and reduce the spread of this (virus). It’s just meant for people to be smart and stay away from each other.

“I mean, I think it’s reasonable to try and stop this thing before it spreads, but I think people are overreacting to what’s being put out,” he said. “They’re trying to get people to be smart about the activities they do.”

So far, Robinson believes that everything seems to be going well. “We are at regular staffing levels. We haven’t altered shifts or brought in additional staffing. “We’ve seen a decline in our normal services. The reality is you have a lot of folks home now, and people are cooperating.”

Lemoore Police Chief Michael Kendall agrees with Robinson’s assessment of life after the governor’s executive order. “We haven’t seen any issues so far,” he said. People have a lot of questions, but other than that, it’s been pretty much normal, and we haven’t seen an influx in crime. People definitely seem to be complying with the governor’s orders. There’s a lot less traffic on the roads, and fewer people are out and about.”

Kendall added that staffing levels have remained normal, but that he has also directed his officers to conduct extra patrol checks as long as businesses remain open, just to deter any crime.

Kendall also issued a press release letting the public know that the department is closing its front lobby to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, for essential services during business hours, Lemoore residents are encouraged to call 559-924-9574, and if a citizen needs to talk to a police officer and it is not an emergency, please contact the non-emergency dispatch number at 559-924-5333.

The department’s officers will increase their patrols of businesses that have closed or reduced their operating hours.

“I encourage our community to enjoy the time spent at home with your families. Lastly, and as the governor stated last night, it’s still perfectly fine to go outside and get some exercise as long as you practice social distancing.”


Governor's executive order takes hold. Local law enforcement says things are calm and people are cooperating

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