Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain issued a news release this morning (Thursday, May 14, 2020) stating his position that the Sheriff’s Office will not take enforcement action against any person or entity that violates Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order and other executive orders.
Hain said members of the community are becoming “anxious to return to some normalcy,” and the Sheriff’s Office has received numerous inquiries about how it will respond to apparent violations of the governor’s executive orders.
“It is clear that deputies do not have immunity if they attempt to enforce the orders, and there is no legislated law that applies to the violation of the orders,” Hain said. “Therefore, sheriff’s deputies will not be taking enforcement action against any one person or entity for order violations, without the issuance of a judicial order.
Hain said U.S. Attorney General William Barr made a clear statement that the Constitution is not suspended in a state of emergency.
“I was elected and took an oath, as all of our deputies have taken an oath, to protect the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the state of Illinois,” he said.
Hain added, however, that now is not a time to test law enforcement or challenge the governor’s direction with blatant and egregious activity that may be harmful to society.
“It is a time to view this as a global health concern and to act in the best interest of your fellow citizens,” Hain said.
Hain said sheriff’s deputies will continue to serve in new, varying humanitarian related roles, such as caring for the homeless, supporting quarantined seniors, and networking with business owners to help them make proper safeguards to continue their operations while mitigating the spread of the virus.
“I do recommend businesses consult with their attorney if they are licensed through the state of Illinois, as there may be penalties issued against them if the state determines some level of violation,” Hain said.
The sheriff suggested that people and businesses may also want to research their liability if they host events or gatherings and risk exposure.
“We are hoping that our entire community views their obligation to their fellow mankind in the same regard,” Hain said. “If we all work through this together, we will come out much better on the other end.”
SOURCE: Kane County Sheriff’s Office news release