ROSEBURG, Ore. — Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin posted a letter on Wednesday pledging that his agency would not be enforcing any of Governor Kate Brown's COVID-19 mandates, while vocally criticizing the use of statewide requirements that ignore "the abilities of our local leadership."
The position that local law enforcement in Oregon will not enforce the Governor's COVID-19 executive orders has been relatively standard since the beginning of the pandemic, and enforcement has largely fallen to state regulatory agencies like Oregon OSHA. However, Hanlin's letter primarily focuses on his personal opinions about the merits of mandates in rural Oregon.
"Personally, I am tired of Governor Brown's style of leadership that ignores the abilities of our local leadership, and her support of ideals that contradict the values most of us in rural Oregon hold dearly," Hanlin wrote. "The Governor's good for one, good for all form of leadership is not working here.
"Governor Brown has once again initiated what many consider to be an unconstitutional mandate by requiring our children and citizens to wear masks and by requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for state employees, healthcare workers and teaching staff. This mandate is potentially more reckless than doing nothing to stop the spread of COVID. I am aware of many state employees including police, fire & EMS service, healthcare, and education staff that intend to walk off the job if coerced into getting vaccinated."
Hanlin concluded that while health, safety and livelihoods "are important needs for us all," they cannot be accomplished through requirements and mandates, only through honest communication.