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With stay-at-home order, city suspends meter enforcement

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Meters along city streets and in city parking lots will not be enforced by City of Warren Police. The Midtown Lot is largely empty Friday afternoon.

A stay-at-home order doesn’t open up a ‘Purge’ situation where anyone willing to leave home can do whatever they want.

But, there are some changes in the law enforcement community.

“We have adjusted our operations in some ways to reduce contact with the public when possible,” City of Warren Police Chief Brandon Deppen said. “Some incidents are being handled by phone when possible. We have taken other safety precautions for the officers as well.”

In terms of enforcement, there has been one meaningful change.

“When the governor enacted the stay-at-home order, we suspended meter enforcement operations for on-street and parking lots owned by the city,” Deppen said. “The parking ordinance has not been suspended otherwise.”

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry City of Warren Police have put signs on some meters like this one in front of the Arbor Coffee House turning spaces into short-term parking for curb-side pick-up.

The stay-at-home order was in effect for the county starting Wednesday, April 1.

“We have posted signs on some parking meters in the downtown to limit parking to 15 minutes for the pick up of items from businesses in an effort to leave spaces available,” Deppen said.

Officers have been following the guidance provided by the Gov. Tom Wolf with respect to the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses, Deppen said. “We have not been discouraging people from being out in general as we have no enforcement power in that order.”

“We do encourage you to follow the guidance provided by the CDC and the state in regards to social gathering, use of parks and public spaces,” he said. “The only way to stop the spread of this disease is to follow this guidance. Ignoring this is putting you and others in the community at risk for contracting and spreading COVID19.”

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