MLive.com, Walker, Mich.
Sheriffs from four different Northern Michigan counties have publicly voiced concerns regarding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders.
In a joint press release issued as thousands of residents protest at the state capital in Lansing, Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich, Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel, Manistee County Sheriff Ken Falk and Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said they will not strictly enforce Whitmer’s orders in their counties.
“While we understand her desire to protect the public, we question some restrictions that she has imposed as overstepping her executive authority,” the sheriffs wrote. “She has created a vague framework of emergency laws that only confuse Michigan citizens.”
Instead of strict enforcement, the sheriffs say they “will deal with every case as an individual situation and apply common sense.”
They noted that their focus should be on reopening their counties and getting people back to work, but added that CDC guidelines such as social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks, etc…should be followed.
“Each of us took an oath to uphold and defend the Michigan Constitution, as well as the US Constitution, and to ensure that your God given rights are not violated,” the sheriffs said. “We believe that we are the last line of defense in protecting your civil liberties.”
“Together, as a community, we will overcome this pandemic, and as Americans, we will persevere and come out stronger than before. As sheriffs of your community we want you to know we have your back and will continue to serve the people who have entrusted us with your protection.”
Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order began on March 24. Initially set to expire on April 13, the order was extended until April 30 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in Michigan.
The order prohibits travel for non-essential workers except for essential duties like grocery shopping and medical visits, as well as some outdoor recreation.
Protests, such as “Operation Gridlock” ongoing in Lansing, and opposition to the orders have increased in recent days as further restrictions on big box stores and travel between second homes were issued.
There are now 27,001 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan, with 1,768 deaths as of Tuesday, April 14. Another update is expected at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
©2020 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.
Visit MLive.com, Walker, Mich. at www.mlive.com.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.