Durham Police Department – Chief Cerelyn ‘C.J.’ Davis
For Immediate Release: April 3, 2020
As we continue our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Durham Police Department works day and
night to ensure that our community is safe and well informed. We have received numerous inquiries
regarding enforcement of the executive and local Orders issued by Governor Roy Cooper, Mayor Steve
Schewel and Chair Wendy Jacobs. In an effort to address concerns regarding law enforcement response
by the Durham Police Department, we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
1. Are Durham Police Officers stopping vehicles to ask drivers if they have a lawful purpose to be
traveling upon the roadways? No. Traffic stops conducted by Durham Police Officers must be based
on a minimal standard of reasonable suspicion that the driver has committed, or is committing, a
violation of the law. Though violations of recent local and state Orders are a Class-2 misdemeanor, the
mere fact that some citizens are traveling on the roadway or other public spaces, does not create a
reasonable suspicion that a violation of these Orders exists.
2. Is there a requirement that people traveling for work or any of the other exceptions to the executive
and local Orders, provide documentation to show they are allowed to do so? No. Individuals are not
required to carry or produce, and the Durham Police Department will not request any type of
documentation to prove an individual is engaged in activities allowed under the Orders.
3. What should I do if I see someone who I believe is violating the executive or local Orders? Based on
our observations related to COVID-19 related Orders, the community at large is doing an outstanding
job in complying with these Orders, as we all do our part to “flatten the curve”. If you are only seeking
information about the Orders, please refer the City of Durham’s Stay-at-Home Order FAQs at
https://durhamnc.gov/4019/Stay-at-Home-Order-FAQs. If you are reporting a violation, you may call
the Durham Emergency Communications Center non-emergency phone number at 919-560-4600 or 911
if a person or property is in immediate danger.
Please know that our number one concern is the safety of our community. As a testament to the efforts of our
community in complying with recent city, county and state Orders, as well as the CDC’s guidelines, Durham
Officers have responded to less than ten (10) reports of possible violations. In each instance, the party involved
was reminded of the Orders and they immediately complied. At this time, there have been no enforcement
actions related to violations of any COVID-19 Orders.
The Durham Police Department is committed to working collaboratively with our community and other partners
towards an end to this pandemic. However, to accomplish this we need everyone to continue to do their part
to slow the spread.
Cerelyn J. Davis, Police Chief