OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Osceola County deputies are still struggling to crack down on so-called COVID-19 parties that seem to be popping up every weekend.
Sheriff Russ Gibson said people are attending the parties either intending to get COVID-19 or not caring if they do.
Gibson said officers have arrested some attendees for possessing illegal weapons or drugs, but current law doesn’t make the parities illegal, so they struggle to shut them down completely.
“We don’t have the proper potential ordinances to take action,” Gibson said.
Dr. Jeremy Lewitt with Florida A&M University College of Law said the sheriff's office is in a tight spot right now trying to patrol the parties.
“Their hands are locked,” Lewitt said. “That meaning if they begin arresting people the politicians get upset and they potentially become disciplined as officers, so the enforcement issue is a big problem.”
Lewitt said a change to county ordinances could give deputies more enforcement options.
The sheriff’s office said it is working with county commissioners to decide what to do.
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