KANE COUNTY, Ill. — There is mixed reaction in Kane County where the sheriff is on record saying his officers will not take enforcement action against anyone for violating Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive order regarding COVID-19.
Kane County Sherriff Ron Hain said their phones have been ringing off the hook with people either complaining about the orders or applauding them.
Hain issued a press release outlining his approach to people not complying with Pritzker’s executive orders as part of the Restore Illinois reopening plan. He said his deputies do not have legal authority to arrest or fine anyone not in compliance.
“Our legal opinions have told these executive orders are not laws,” Hain said. “And law enforcement has to live within those four corners of the law. So we face an incredible amount of liability if one of my deputies or I take actions strictly as the result of executive orders.”
Hain and other sheriffs part of the northeast sector are acting in unison.
“This is not a law enforcement issue. This is not a time to test it. This is a public health issue,” he said. “The community, the entire region, entire nation needs to be concerned about the public health of everyone.”
Hain added that his deputies are now taking a stepped humanitarian role more than ever.
“From helping the homeless like they never have before to delivering care packages to quarantined seniors,” he said.
However, he said if a complaint is received, deputies will be dispatched and arrests and some cases could be made.