Several Wisconsin law enforcement authorities say they won’t enforce mask mandate

Grant County Sheriff's Office

WASHBURN COUNTY, Wis. (WKBT) – Law enforcement authorities in Wisconsin said Thursday they won’t enforce the statewide mask mandate issued Thursday by Gov. Tony Evers.

Sheriff’s offices in Grant, Dodge, Lafayette and Washburn counties advised residents in their communities that for various reasons each, they can’t or won’t enforce the order.

Sheriff Stuart of the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office published a post on the department’s Facebook page stating how his deputies will handle the governor’s order.

“My deputies have sworn an oath to the Constitution, and when a law or order is in conflict, we must defend the individual rights of our people,” Stuart said. “You have an individual right to make your own medical decisions. We as government officials shall not intrude. The Constitution can’t be suspended, whether people get sick or not.”

Stuart continued, “The Washburn County Sheriff’s Department will not participate in any enforcement in regards to the wearing of masks. We believe it is government overreach and unconstitutional on many levels.”

In the post, the sheriff encourages residents to make their own medical choices.

“If you choose to wear a mask, we defend that right,” Stuart said. “If not, we defend that right as well. Our deputies will not enforce a mask mandate.”

Other sheriff’s departments in counties closer to the area have issued their own statements, with some stating they’re not the agency in charge of enforcing the mask mandate.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said it “will not take enforcement action regarding complaints of violations of the most recent Governor’s order regarding masks.”

Dodge County deputies also asked residents to not report incidents involving masks due to limited staffing.

The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office is also asking locals to redirect any complaints regarding masks to the state Department of Health Services or governor’s office.