The Fort Worth Police Department wants everybody to know, officers are NOT pulling people over just to “check their papers” and make sure they are allowed to be out and about.

“The Fort Worth Police Department has received numerous and false claims across our social media platforms indicating Fort Worth police officers are enforcing ‘stay-at-home’ check points by pulling drivers over and asking for work documentation, etc. These claims are NOT accurate. The department is not and will not enforce these types of traffic stops. If an officer makes a traffic stop, it will be for an observed traffic violation or for investigation of another criminal offense.”

Dallas Police Department officials have made similar announcements.

Yes, disaster declaration regulations in both Dallas and Fort Worth and in both Dallas and Tarrant counties do include the possibility of fines and even jail times for those who refuse to comply with “shelter in place” orders, and yes, code compliance officers across the Metroplex are making sure that businesses are complying with regulations and shutting down or, if they are deemed essential, following social distancing requirements.

BUT — I repeat — police officers ARE NOT pulling people over just to “check their papers” to make sure they are allowed to be out of their house. And even if they do find somebody out and about who really shouldn’t be, they are going to give you a warning first and so you have plenty of opportunity to get home. (Oh, and you are allowed to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, etc., without “papers.”)

In other words, for you to actually get cited for violating the shelter in place orders and end up with a fine or jail time, you are gonna have to be a first-rate jerk. Just use some common sense, people.

— Tammye Nash