The goals of the operation were twofold, Sheriff Gregory Tony said at a virtual news conference on Wednesday: reducing the large meetings that were taking place and crushing on “roving car clubs” that would bring in dozens of young people together in certain parts of the community.
More than 1,100 service calls were made about holidays and social gatherings, the sheriff said.
In the two weeks since the operation was launched, Tony says police have responded to at least 13 different meetings or parties and issued more than 260 different citations.
“Whenever we have large meetings of 100, 150 plus people, it’s as clear as the fact that we’re not seeing compliance with the CDC recommendations and so more people will contract this virus,” the sheriff said.
“We have no interest at the moment to not continue to have this kind of enforcement operation,” he said.
Broward County borders Miami-Dade County, which has been called in by some experts at the country’s new coronavirus epicenter, with hospitals loaded and cut off ICUs that sound the alarm during the rise in patients. And last week, sick Floridians seeking treatment in Miami-Dade County spilled over into neighboring county hospitals.
And across the state, the number of coronavirus-related deaths broke a record Wednesday for the second day after.
During his news conference, the sheriff encouraged the use of face masks, urging residents in the community to take a “common sense approach.”
“It’s not about the individual person anymore,” Tony said. “When you don’t wear a mask when you don’t comply, you’re potentially exposing someone else. So it’s not just about what you can do for yourself as well as what you can do for other people you don’t even know.”
He said several businesses that were not following coronavirus guidelines had been shut down for at least a day or fined.
“We need to get better compliance from our community, they should take more social responsibility agreements. If not, we will be there enforcing, quoting and writing notices,” the sheriff said.
CNN’s Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.