Sheriff: No complaints filed in Orleans over Thanksgiving gatherings

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2020 at 11:01 am

Local law enforcement has responded to 300-plus PAUSE complaints during pandemic

ALBION – Orleans County law enforcement wasn’t called to investigate any complaints on Thanksgiving about people exceeding a 10-person limit on gatherings inside private homes, Sheriff Chris Bourke said.

“I was expecting to get a lot of those and we did not receive any,” Bourke told local elected officials in a Zoom conference call on Tuesday.

There were only eight complaints in the state on Thanksgiving about the 10-person limit, Bourke said, quoting a survey from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association. That survey included responses from 46 of the 62 counties in the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said there weren’t any fines in the state on Thanksgiving for exceeding the 10-person cap.

Bourke said local law enforcement continues to respond to “New York on PAUSE” complaints, where customers or employees can call a hotline or file a complaint online to report a business that isn’t adhering to social distancing or mask wearing.

Of the 311 complaints filed during the pandemic in Orleans County, Bourke said 171 have been handled by the Sheriff’s Office, 63 by the Medina Police Department, 47 by the Albion Police Department and 30 by the Holley Police Department.

Bourke said the Sheriff’s Office uses “friendly persuasion” in responding to the complaints, making sure the businesses know the rules and understand the threat of Covid-19.

Bourke urged the businesses and community to treat Covid-19 seriously. He said one of his neighbors has died after contracting Covid, and the brother of a corrections officer died after getting Covid.