Police in Maryland conducting business compliance checks as coronavirus cases surge

The night before Thanksgiving typically brings out the nightlife crowds, and state and local police were out making sure that didn’t happen this year.

In Maryland, COVID-19 compliance patrols were on the streets statewide.

READ MORE: Maryland state troopers to help with pandemic-related compliance efforts

In downtown Frederick, there was a team of over 20 people, comprised of city police and members of the county liquor board, fire marshals office and health department, doing compliance checks at businesses and walking the sidewalks.

Lt. John Corbett, commander of the special operations division for Frederick Police, said his officers didn’t encounter any problems. He said typically Thanksgiving Eve brings hundreds of people to downtown and ends with about a dozen arrests.

READ MORE: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to launch 'compliance units' this week amid COVID-19 surge

He said, this year, even though they weren’t expecting the crowds, police staffing is nearly on par with other years, though not exactly.

“That’s primarily because our staffing has been impacted by COVID as well,” said Corbett. “We have a number of people who are out on quarantine. I myself just came off quarantine today because my wife tested positive a couple weeks ago.”

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On Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan said state troopers would be assigned to every county starting Wednesday, focused on downtown areas.

Hogan says the Maryland State Police is also ramping up the hotline that the public can dial to report violations and is now operating a new phone line to assist local compliance officers.

Residents can call (833) 979-2266 or send an email to Prevent.Covid@maryland.gov.