Sheriffs denounce Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home extension, ask for alternative plan

Dodge County Sheriffs vehicle

JUNEAU, Wis. — Two Wisconsin sheriffs have spoken out against Gov. Tony Evers’ extension of the Safer at Home order and asked the governor to develop other plans for reopening Wisconsin’s economy.

On Thursday, Evers said non-essential businesses must stay closed until May 26 to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

While Evers and state health officials have maintained that continuing the Safer at Home order is essential to help Wisconsin manage the spread of COVID-19, others throughout the state have grown tired and wary of extending the order until late May.

Dodge County Sheriff Dale J. Schmidt wrote in a news release Saturday that the pandemic has left Wisconsinites with “little hope.”

“Part of being a great leader is providing HOPE and showing that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Relaxing the restrictions with common sense in mind will provide that hope,” Schmidt wrote. “You are standing in the minority in your position to close down our state through the end of May.”

On Friday afternoon, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling wrote on Facebook that he will not be enforcing Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order.

“The overreaching measures taken by State government will have dire lifetime consequences for businesses, homeowners, and families,” Schmaling wrote. “I took an oath to uphold the constitutional rights of our citizens and I can not in good faith participate in the destruction of Racine County businesses or interfere in the freedoms granted to all of us by our Constitution.”

Schmaling said he plans to leave the enforcement of the order up to health department experts.