More sheriffs announce they won’t enforce Gov. Evers’ statewide mask mandate

adams county sheriff squad car

FRIENDSHIP, Wis. — Several additional sheriff’s departments from around Wisconsin have announced that they do not plan to enforce Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate that goes into effect on Saturday.

Sheriff’s offices in Adams, Vilas, Brown and Vernon counties have all announced they do not plan to respond to any reports of individuals not complying with the mask mandate. The announcements come the day after several other sheriff’s offices from throughout the state said they would not respond to non-compliance complaints.

Adams County Sheriff Brent York said his office will not respond to the complaints due to a lack of resources and staffing.

“I ask that you respect everyone’s decision to wear or not wear a mask, that you make your own decision based on your personal health concerns and for the concerns of others around you,” York wrote in a Facebook post. “I ask that you abide with private businesses who have requirements while on their private property.”

Vilas County Sheriff Joseph A. Fath also cited a lack of resources as the reason the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office won’t be responding to non-compliance complaints. Fath said his office will work with public health officials to encourage compliance whenever possible.

Brown County Sheriff Todd J. Delain posted on Facebook saying he supports individual actions that help stop the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and mask wearing, but said the Brown County Sheriff’s Office will not be responding to complaints about people not complying with the mandate.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Nathan Campbell of the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office said that any complaints of violations of Evers’ order should be directed to the Governor’s office.

“The wearing of face coverings can be a contentious topic,” Campbell said. “The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office will not be the enforcement agency to handle complaints of violations regarding the health order.”