Democratic leaders like Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Gavin Newsom may dream of police coming to break up family gatherings that exceed the number of allowable guests, last longer than two hours, are indoors, or do not comply with masking requirements, but an increasing number of sheriffs are saying not on our watch.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes announced recently his deputies will be turning their attention elsewhere.
"Compliance with health orders is a matter of personal responsibility and not a matter of law enforcement," Barnes said in the statement. "Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies will not be dispatched to, or respond to, calls for service to enforce compliance with face coverings, social gatherings or stay-at-home orders only."
He continued: "To put the onus on law enforcement to enforce these orders against law-abiding citizens who are already struggling through difficult circumstances, while at the same time criticizing law enforcement and taking away tools to do our jobs, is both contradictory and disingenuous."
Please see my statement regarding Southern California being placed under the Governor’s regional stay-at-home order. pic.twitter.com/lgvvHGnasp— OC Sheriff Don Barnes (@OCSheriffBarnes) December 5, 2020
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco asked residents to behave responsibly to protect themselves and others from the virus, but said he refused to be "blackmailed, bullied, or used as muscle against Riverside County residents."
"[Newsom] is expecting us to arrest anyone violating these orders, cite them and take their money, close their businesses, make them stay in their homes and take away their civil liberties or he will punish all of us," Bianco said in a video statement. "I believe that all jobs are essential to someone."