Several cities are encouraging their residents to tattletale on their neighbors who defy stay-at-home orders.
Neighborly snitching is emerging as cities, states, and counties work to limit person to person contact amid the health emergency.
“You know the old expression about snitches? Well, in this case, snitches get rewards,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on March 31. Garcetti asking residents to let the city know of construction sites that continued to operate amid the pandemic.
So, residents are dialing municipal hotlines, and in Bellevue, Washington reporting to law enforcement via an app. Police Chief Steve Mylett spoke with KTTH Radio about the issue:
“Our posture right now is to inform and educate. We’re not putting handcuffs on anybody that’s in violation of the state mandate. We’re not issuing citations, we’re not detaining people,” Mylett explained.
Some Americans are voicing concerns about a potential “Big Brother” trend, saying it could be a way to condition residents to government surveillance. Police in Bellevue have denied that, saying reporting on an app frees up 911 for more pressing, emergency calls.