Southern Illinois sheriffs not enforcing new COVID restrictions

Local

ILLINOIS (WEHT) Sheriff Doug Maier of White County says his deputies will not be enforcing Gov. Pritzker’s new COVID-19 restrictions, which include no indoor dining and bar service. Wabash County Sheriff Derek Morgan also says he won’t be enforcing Gov. Pritzker’s orders. He says this isn’t the responsibility of law enforcement

Maier says the restrictions are a health department issue, not a law enforcement issue. This is not the first time sheriffs have refused to enforce COVID-19 mandates.

In July, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s mask mandate was met with similar backlash from law enforcement. The Gibson County Sheriff’s Office said “we are not the mask police” and refused to issue citations for non-compliance. The Dubois, Perry, and Posey County Sheriff’s Offices also made similar statements, but they also said they would still respond to confrontations caused by mask non-compliance.

Pritzker does have some tools at his disposal to try to enforce his order, one being licenses when it comes to restaurants and bars. It is unclear though if he plans to use them.

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(This story was originally published on October 23, 2020)

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