Harrisonburg Police Department prepares as students return to JMU

HPD is monitoring against 50 or more people at one gathering, and the consequences could cost you.
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 12:54 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — As JMU students return to town, the Harrisonburg Police Department is ready to enforce the City Gathering Ordinance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Unlike JMUPD, which has a rule against 10 or more students at one gathering, HPD is monitoring against 50 or more people at one gathering, and the consequences could cost you.

“If it’s your residence or you’re the apartment owner, it’s a Class 3 Misdemeanor which is a $500.00 fine or less, and if you’re one of the party-goers or in attendance and refuse to leave, then it’s a Class 4 Misdemeanor which is a $250.00 fine or less,” Harrisonburg Police Department’s Sergeant Drugo said.

As of right now, the City Gathering Ordinance is in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 13, unless amended by City Council.

Sergeant Drugo says HPD has added half a patrol squad more, working overtime, to its regular patrol operations, and has also partnered with JMUPD to patrol off-campus housing.

Along with proper social distancing, and mask-wearing when not able to social distance, HPD wants to remind students of the other three City Ordinances: the Noise Ordinance, Alcohol Violations and the Marijuana Law.

If a gathering is reported for a noise complaint, there will be an immediate officer response, including possible citations. Alcohol Violations include: drunk in public, drinking in public, disorderly conduct in public places, underage possession of alcohol, urinating in public and underage purchase/possession of tobacco and nicotine vapor products. HPD will also enforce the new Marijuana Law, which states it is unlawful to possess marijuana and could count as one of three strikes given to students under JMU OSARP.

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