A Public Safety Message from Sheriff Shoar:
I wanted to take a moment to discuss an issue that has recently emerged in other parts of our state and across our nation. St. Johns County has already endured many challenges due to the Covid-19 virus and we would like to ensure this current trend does not occur here. With the implementation of social distancing guidelines and the widespread wearing of facial coverings, we are beginning to observe a new safety and legal issue regarding physical confrontations between people who are making different personal choices.
In the news today, we are hearing of disturbances over social distancing issues and individuals who, for their own reasons, are not wearing masks. Many of these verbal altercations are evolving into physical altercations. I would encourage each resident to make the personal health choices and precautions that best protect themselves, but would discourage anyone from confronting someone because they have made a different choice.
A confrontation with someone who has walked within six feet of your personal space, are walking the wrong way in a shopping aisle, or the person simply isn’t wearing a mask isn’t worth the risk of injury or a criminal charge. Instead, walk away. If in a shopping or dining environment, advise the property owner and allow them to address the issue.
Thus far, we have had no criminal charges filed in St. Johns County resulting from this emerging trend, although we are hearing of minor verbal confrontations. Our goal is to assist our communities in navigating these trying and unprecedented times, while maintaining a safe and healthy community. We ask that each of us take personal responsibility to assist in that endeavor.
On behalf of the men and women of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, we hope each of you have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday weekend!