Sheriffs say no to mask enforcement

July 31, 2020


The Brillion News


Calumet County Sheriff Mark Wiegert, Brown County Sheriff Todd Delain and Manitowoc County Sheriff Daniel Hartwig are on the same page: their officers will not be enforcing the mask-in-public order issued Thursday by Governor Tony Evers.


Evers' order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, unless opponents get a court order placing it on hold.


“I can say that all of us want to get back to ‘normal,’” Hartwig said “We want our kids back to school, community events to return, sports, and times with family and friends to recommence.”

Hartwig said his officers have sworn an oath to protect the constitution and protect our citizens' rights. There is a difference between public safety and public health."

He said his officers already have a lot to do without adding health orders enforcement.

[Ann Marie Photography for MCSD >> ]

“The Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office will continue to focus on what we do, investigating crimes and protecting the public, as opposed to investigating or responding to complaints about those without face coverings,” Hartwig said.


The Calumet County Sheriff’s Office said it would not be responding to complaints of individuals violating the governor’s mandate, nor will it be taking any direct law enforcement action as it relates to the Governor’s face covering mandate.

"Consistent with our understanding of the Executive Order, the goal is compliance and education and is not meant to be punitive," said Calumet County Sheriff Mark Wiegert in a post on the sheriff's department Facebook page. "However, the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office will continue to respond to reports or complaints from a business owner, manager or other premise owner who has already requested that an individual leave a premise for failing to comply with the face covering mandate as it relates to that specific premise. We anticipate that these circumstances will be rare, but enforcement is necessary under these circumstances because they are situations where a disturbance may be likely.


"We understand that some individuals may have medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from utilizing masks,” Brown County Sheriff Delain said. “In order to provide some clarification, please be advised that the Brown County Sheriff’s Office will not be responding to complaints of individuals violating the Governor’s mandate, nor will it be taking any direct law enforcement action as it relates to the Governor’s face covering mandate.”


All three departments said they would respond when a dispute over masking turns ugly.


“[The] Brown County Sheriff’s Office will continue to respond to reports or complaints from a business owner, manager or other premise owner who has already requested that an individual leave a premise for failing to comply with the face covering mandate as it relates to that specific premise. We anticipate that these circumstances will be rare, but enforcement is necessary under these circumstances because they are situations where a disturbance may be likely,” Delain said. “In those situations, our focus is not on the face covering order itself, but rather the fact that the individual is not wanted in a particular place, that the individual has been asked to leave and has not complied with the request of the person in control of that premise.”

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