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Won’t issue citations

EDITOR:

These are difficult times for citizens, businesses and law enforcement agencies during this historic pandemic. In order to manage this pandemic, Governor Whitmer has issued 147 executive orders in an effort to curb the death count in our state.

Executive Order 147 requires the people to wear masks in public places, retail businesses and at outdoor public events. Businesses are directed to refuse services and deny entry to those not wearing masks and directs a misdemeanor offense for people and business operators who fail to comply with the order. The order claims to not violate constitutional rights but it also imposes upon business operators the obligation to enforce the mask mandate which will increase the possibility of conflict between the patrons and business operators.

This order poses a difficult dilemma for law enforcement and business operators. The order exempts people with specific medical conditions from wearing masks, but federal laws prevent law enforcement from asking persons about their medical conditions. The way the executive orders are written causes confusion and frustration among the public and the law enforcement professionals that serve you. I don’t want you to mistrust us. It is important to me that you understand the challenges that we face together.

The Menominee County Sheriff’s Office will not be issuing citations to people not wearing masks. Deputies will respond to complaints related to Executive Order 147. We will enforce local ordinances and state laws, respond to calls for service, educate and investigate complaints with the intent to protect the constitutional rights of the public. If a patron refuses to wear a mask, and is asked to leave the business by a business operator, and refuses to leave the business, a trespassing complaint may be issued. Non-compliant guests who fail to leave a business when asked, may be prosecuted for trespassing and/or disorderly conduct under state law. We will enforce in regards to threats and attacks against persons, assault and battery against persons and disorderly conduct. We will protect the constitutional rights of all people.

Please respect a business operators’ requirements, by wearing a mask in their establishments and please be considerate of others.

Sheriff Kenny Marks

Menominee County

Sheriff’s Office

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