Breaking News: Sheriff supports "Stay at home" order
The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) is strongly encouraging residents to abide by the regulations put forth in Governor Tim Walz’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order (EO #20-20), which goes into effect Saturday at midnight.
However, Sheriff Scott Rose says local law enforcement will not be actively looking for violators of the order on the roadways.
“Based on the data we are seeing from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH),” said Rose. “It appears Minnesotans, and Dodge County residents, are implementing social distancing guidelines and – for the most part – staying home. ”
DCSO will continue to enforce traffic and other violations, but they will not be pulling over citizens in relation to the EO #20-20, Rose said. He also wants to reinforce that individuals are encouraged to get fresh air and exercise outdoors, but do so while maintaining social distancing recommendations.
Other states are requesting drivers receive employer-issued permissions to travel for their work, but at this time, this paperwork is not being requested or checked by local law enforcement in Minnesota.
In regards to any complaints or observations of large gatherings that could become a threat to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare, we will use discretion as to whether and/or how we respond. For example, a gathering of nine people in various rooms will be handled differently than 50 people at a house party. In instances of a complaint or observed violation of the EO, our responding deputies will first determine whether a violation has really occurred. The enforcement clause of the EO allowing for a misdemeanor citation is not intended to be invoked for all violations, but rather for those who refuse to, or fail to, comply with our attempts to gain compliance. People with more than two violations or refusals to comply with this EO may be taken into custody and charged with a misdemeanor. (Citing Minn. Stat. § 12.45) Deputies can also invoke other statutes and local ordinances at their discretion.
While the Governor’s Order does not specifically address every workplace or employee function, Rose reminds residents that it does offer a general sense of what is deemed essential while the “Stay at Home” order is in effect. “DCSO wants to encourage citizens to use their best sense of judgment in determining whether they must travel,” said Sheriff Rose. “Staying at home and isolated away from other people is in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety, including our citizens and their families, and our law enforcement family.”