Police investigate complaints regarding non-essential businesses violating state order

The city of Dothan has received several complaints regarding nonessential businesses remaining open after Gov. Kay Ivey issued a nonessential closing order Friday to combat the coronavirus.

The state has ordered enforcement of the order on a local level.

Dothan police Chief Steve Parrish has assigned multiple investigators, who will review and investigate all complaints received.

“Beginning today, investigators will review complaints and follow up on each complaint,” Parrish said. “However, whether or not a business is violating the nonessential closing will be verified through the Alabama Department of Public Health.”

According to Parrish, businesses operating after the Police Department receives verification that the business is failing to obey an nonessential closing order will be closed and can receive a fine for violating the order. Fines will range from $25 to $500. The business owner or business representative also will have to go before a judge to explain why the business violated the order.

“I believe any business that may be violating the order will obey the order once everything has been verified through the Alabama Department of Public Health,” Parrish said. “We know the value of our local businesses, but our first priority is the public’s safety.”

Parrish would not comment on businesses listed in any complaints received by the city.

As of Friday the following nonessential businesses, venues and activities were closed to nonemployees or not to take place according to Ivey’s order:

Entertainment venues

» Nightclubs.

» Bowling alleys.

» Arcades.

» Concert venues.

» Theaters, auditoriums and performing arts centers.

» Tourist attractions (including museums and planetariums).

» Racetracks.

» Indoor children’s play areas.

» Adult entertainment venues.

» Casinos.

» Bingo halls.

» Venues operated by social clubs.

Athletic facilities and events

» Fitness centers and commercial gyms.

» Spas and public or commercial swimming pools.

» Yoga, barre and spin facilities.

» Spectator sports.

» Sports that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet.

» Activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment.

» Activities on commercial or public playground equipment.

Close-contact services

» Barbershops.

» Hair salons.

» Waxing salons.

» Threading salons.

» Nail salons and spas.

» Body-art facilities and tattoo services.

» Tanning salons.

» Massage-therapy establishments and massage services

Retail stores

» Furniture and home-furnishings stores.

» Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores.

» Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores.

» Department stores.

» Sporting goods stores.

» Book, craft, and music stores.

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