LANSING – Due to the overwhelming number of calls related to the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders, the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline has been overwhelmed and brought the system to a standstill.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office is reminding Michigan residents that any complaints related to the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order should be directed to local law enforcement agencies.
The attorney general’s office is also reminding its partners in law enforcement to let everyone know that failing to comply with the Governor’s Executive Orders could result in a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each violation.
Ingham County Sheriff’s Office Captain Greg Harris said, “Police like to learn from past situations and then they try to enhance training to improve, but we don’t have a playbook for this.”
The attorney general’s office has a team designed to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices.
Since the governor’s latest order to stay home and stay safe the AG’s office has gotten an overwhelming number of calls to complain, but at this time they are focusing on price gouging and scams related to the coronavirus.
The AG’s office is asking that for all other violations, people should call the police.
“For us at the sheriff’s office, we have limited the staff that come to work every day to help keep our staff healthy,” Harris said. “So, our central records area is closed so, there is no one here to answer the phones.”
Lansing police said they haven’t had any calls about businesses remaining open and forcing people to work, but if a complaint does come in they will look into it.
“We’re still in the stages of figuring this out,” Harris said. “This is new for us.”
Officers want to caution people from calling 911 for non-emergencies. At this time, they ask that people just follow the order.
“Law enforcement can’t do this alone. They can’t. It can’t be just us sheriffs and local chiefs and the state police, we need the community to get on board with this order and help ensure that it’s followed,” Harris said. “I think by going out into the public when we don’t need to do so exposes ourselves to unnecessary potential exposure. We need to limit that.”
These are incredibly difficult times and uncharted territory. The Attorney General’s office asks for everyone’s cooperation, understanding and patience as the state works to stop COVID-19.