Bob Dohr and Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
People can’t gather in groups, they've been instructed to avoid nonessential travel and they have to maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others when in public.
But that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it.
Police in Milwaukee’s suburbs are keeping busy responding to numerous reports of violations of the safer-at-home order.
It brings up questions about who’s following the order, who’s not, how police are handling it, and the psychology of how people’s behaviors are affected during a pandemic.
'We anticipated this would happen'
Germantown police are going to village parks several times a day to break up basketball games, said Police Chief Mike Snow.
Snow said the department received 30 calls from community members about people playing team games since the safer-at-home order came into effect March 25. And he said when the temperature climbed into the 70s on April 7, he received about a half a dozen calls.
"People are still routinely violating this," Snow said. "We anticipated this would happen."
He said he understands people want exercise, but it can't be done in groups.
"Team sport drills also cannot happen," he added.
Groups of kids playing hoops is also an issue in Hales Corners.
"We’ll go up and, keeping our social distance of course, we’ll advise the kids of the safer-at-home order and they are just to disperse, to leave the park kind of thing," said Hales Corners Police Lt. Brent Kroll. "The park’s not closed, but they’ve still got to stay 6 feet away from each other. That’s hard to do when you’re playing basketball."
Kroll said it seems to be in kids' DNA to gather in groups.
"I do notice that a lot of juveniles do hang out, they don’t think much of the 6-foot order," Kroll said. "They’re just always in packs, kind of thing, whether it be in this community or others."
In a post on the Germantown Police Department Facebook page, Snow asked parents to become more involved in enforcing the rules.
"If your children are not at home it is your responsibility to know where they are and what they are doing. If you are an adult violating the order, we ask that you be an adult, and stop violating the order," he wrote.