STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Sheriff: Jackson County will not enforce Governor's stay-at-home order

Sheriff Nathan Sickler said that the Jackson County Sheriff's Office will not dedicate any of its resources to enforcing Governor Brown's executive orders if they are defied.

Posted: May 8, 2020 2:06 PM
Updated: May 8, 2020 2:22 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff's Office will not be enforcing Governor Kate Brown's stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 response, Sheriff Nathan Sickler shared in a Facebook post on Friday.

"The Sheriff's Office has not and will not dedicate any of our limited resources to enforcing this order," Sickler said. "We respect all of our resident's freedom and rights and thank everyone for their efforts thus far to keep our community safe. We also understand the difficulties our current status is causing for our valley and many people have been put in very difficult situations. My office will not make those situations worse."

Though Jackson County is on track to enter Phase One of reopening on May 15 under the Governor's plan, the pressure has been building from at least some people to open businesses up early in defiance of that order.

Sickler asked that Jackson County residents not call the Sheriff's Office to report any businesses that have opened or group gatherings, saying that the agency has "much more significant issues" to deal with every day.

"If you are vulnerable or concerned, please protect yourself and act accordingly. I also ask that everyone be respectful of one another," Sickler said.

The Sheriff encouraged businesses or people set on holding a gathering to check with the responsible agencies, namely OSHA, and "understand the current regulations and potential civil penalties" of defying the Governor's orders.

"I would also suggest you check with the law enforcement entity that has jurisdiction where your home or business is, to include municipal police departments, the Oregon State Police and the Oregon Attorney General’s Office," Sickler said. "These other administrative and law enforcement agencies and departments operate independently from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office."

The Governor's Office recently reiterated that violations of the stay-at-home order are considered a Class C misdemeanor, for which the penalty is up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,250, or both — and that can apply to business owners and their patrons. Still, Brown's office admitted that criminal penalties are a last resort.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office isn't the only agency that has signaled they will not enforce any violations of the order. The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety confirmed as much to NewsWatch 12 earlier this week as several Grants Pass businesses moved to open early.

Governor Brown's office called these violations "irresponsible and unfortunate."

"The Governor’s Office is aware that some businesses are choosing to reopen prematurely, before appropriate safeguards are in place for their communities," Brown's office said. "This behavior is irresponsible and unfortunate. These business owners are putting the public at risk. "A public health crisis should never be used as a marketing opportunity. As a state, and as a community, we have a shared responsibility to protect our friends, neighbors, and loved ones from COVID-19."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31503

Reported Deaths: 538
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6938136
Marion452292
Washington436959
Umatilla292841
Clackamas231461
Malheur157525
Jackson10914
Lane105916
Deschutes78912
Yamhill74514
Jefferson5168
Polk51115
Morrow4906
Linn48013
Lincoln47513
Union4352
Benton2886
Klamath2772
Wasco2733
Hood River2480
Douglas2213
Josephine1942
Columbia1551
Coos1470
Clatsop1270
Baker912
Crook611
Tillamook510
Curry310
Lake280
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Gilliam80
Grant80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 796436

Reported Deaths: 15291
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2633336423
Riverside576951173
San Bernardino53121908
Orange525381176
San Diego45425767
Kern31647357
Fresno27944362
Sacramento21800393
Alameda20839395
Santa Clara20648300
San Joaquin20060434
Stanislaus16425342
Contra Costa16156202
Tulare15782257
Ventura12507146
Imperial11658317
San Francisco1090199
San Mateo9664144
Monterey964570
Santa Barbara8952111
Merced8803140
Kings754477
Sonoma7225120
Marin6620114
Solano623260
Madera442465
Placer352343
San Luis Obispo345327
Butte277640
Yolo277355
Santa Cruz22838
Sutter168610
Napa165213
San Benito131411
Yuba11337
El Dorado10784
Mendocino88718
Shasta75114
Lassen7360
Glenn5683
Tehama5294
Nevada5256
Colusa5226
Lake51611
Humboldt4906
Calaveras31414
Amador28716
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 65°
Brookings
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 61°
Crater Lake
Broken Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 60°
Grants Pass
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 51°
Klamath Falls
Broken Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 60°
Damp morning, dry & cool afternoon
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events