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Sheriffs Balk at Enforcing Governor’s Orders
“We are working hard to respond to priority calls”

In an email obtained from Oregon Firearms Federation Executive Director Kevin Starrett, several Oregon Sheriffs have indicated that they will not be stepping up enforcement of Governor Brown's recent lockdown orders. The email, dated November 18 recounts communications between the Undersheriff of Clackamas County, speaking for Sheriff Craig Roberts, which says that they "will not be changing how we have been doing business since the beginning of the pandemic."

That same email conversation contained a quote from Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson, who said,

"Locally, I equate this to be similar to July 4th. Everyone [sic] launches off illegal fireworks and we no way to handle all the calls and have to send resources in other priority areas. We have discretion to not enforce those laws and use education and warnings as primary action.

We will be doing the same thing with this."

While the Governor does have jurisdiction over the State Police, she ordinarily has no power over the operations of local county Sheriffs, though her powers during a declared emergency are not clear. Despite her strong rhetoric, Governor Brown has not ingratiated herself to law enforcement by signing all of the "police reform" bills which contained a tribute to Black Lives Matter during the first special session of 2020.

Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon issued a joint statement with Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny that said in part, "The Linn County Sheriff’s Office decided back in April that we would not do criminal enforcement on COVID-19 measures. Our role in the community is not to count how many people are at a residence or how an individual business conducts its affairs."

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners issued a strong statement in response to the lockdown.

“This statewide approach does not fit Klamath County. We have a robust health care system, and we are confident the relationships in this community would ensure our health care professionals, and public health, would work together to decide what our community needs without the state’s interference. We do not need a top down approach from the State; we believe we can navigate this challenging issue locally.” said Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris.

Joe Kast, the Marion County Sheriff issued a weaker statement.

People should know that
most police jurisdictions will not be enforcing these edicts. If law enforcement does come to your door and you don't require their services, you're under no obligation to answer the door.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-11-20 16:03:58Last Update: 2020-11-20 16:11:09

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