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.

Cases: 195684

Reported Deaths: 2587
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38714593
Washington25787233
Marion22229308
Clackamas17677214
Lane13128149
Jackson10953140
Deschutes918074
Umatilla823684
Linn501768
Klamath450664
Yamhill449676
Polk378853
Malheur353063
Josephine337071
Douglas329871
Benton312720
Jefferson222037
Coos208935
Columbia175929
Union145123
Lincoln138821
Wasco138128
Hood River119631
Crook113822
Morrow111116
Clatsop9948
Baker95914
Tillamook6523
Curry64610
Grant5236
Lake4557
Harney3488
Wallowa1855
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3768805

Reported Deaths: 62690
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123741124115
Riverside2997934594
San Bernardino2971654724
San Diego2790983742
Orange2712515031
Santa Clara1190602096
Kern1092981376
Sacramento1049581691
Fresno1019571690
Alameda881481668
Ventura810331017
San Joaquin733101394
Contra Costa68976805
Stanislaus622491061
Tulare49830840
Monterey43662383
San Mateo42059570
San Francisco36795546
Santa Barbara34391459
Solano32974253
Merced31919461
Sonoma30067321
Imperial28504729
Kings23017246
Placer22688292
San Luis Obispo21308260
Madera16482242
Santa Cruz16264206
Marin14079227
Yolo13932211
Shasta12175226
Butte12095192
El Dorado10193113
Napa988782
Sutter9441113
Yuba628549
San Benito606863
Lassen570624
Tehama559063
Nevada475575
Tuolumne413967
Mendocino410849
Humboldt408042
Amador366647
Lake348543
Glenn240025
Siskiyou225525
Colusa223616
Calaveras213654
Inyo142838
Del Norte13988
Mono12844
Plumas7186
Modoc5014
Mariposa4507
Trinity4025
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned460
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