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McHenry County Sheriff's Office won't enforce state stay-at-home order

Northwest Herald

Monday, May 18, 2020  |  Article  |  By CASSIE BUCHMAN

Governor (44) , Health (49) , Police (28)

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office has no plan to enforce Gov. JB Pritzker's stay-at-home order as a criminal offense, Sheriff Bill Prim announced in a Facebook post Saturday.

Prim, in the post, cited a quote from the governor from May 6, where Pritzker said that "at the state level, we don't have the capacity or desire to police individual behavior of 12.7 million people.”

"We too, do not have the capacity or desire to enforce the governor’s orders," Prim said.

Instead, Prim said, the sheriff's office encourages McHenry County residents to self-monitor and voluntarily comply with the orders.

"It is our duty to ensure the safety of all citizens within McHenry County is our priority," Prim said. "With the governor’s order, voluntary compliance is important in moving forward on the road to a revitalized and restored community. The community’s safety and well-being, mentally and physically, are of the utmost concern."

Earlier this week, the Kane County Sheriff's Office also said they would not take enforcement action against anyone, or any entities, for violating the executive order without a judicial order.

Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said in a news release that his office has received "numerous" inquiries about the actions it will take regarding the order.

"It is clear that deputies do not have immunity if they attempt to enforce the orders and there is no legislated law that applies to the violation of the order," Hain said. "The U.S. Attorney General made a clear statement that the Constitution is not suspended in a state of emergency. I was elected and took an oath, as all of our deputies have taken an oath, to protect the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the state of Illinois."

Hain also said that "this is not a time to test law enforcement or challenge the governor's direction with blatant and egregious activity that may be harmful to society."

• The Kane County Chronicle contributed to the report