ALBANY, OR (KPTV) - Several sheriff's departments in Oregon say they're not going to enforce COVID-19 restrictions or make arrests during the COVID-19 'freeze' that Gov. Kate Brown put in place this week. This comes after Brown gave police the discretion to enforce these restrictions.

FOX 12 on Friday spoke with people living in Albany and Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon about the issue. Yon said his department is taking the same approach it did in the spring with a focus on education, not on criminal enforcement. 

Linn Co. Sheriff

KPTV image. 

As the state is under a list of COVID-19 restriction, the sheriff says he wants to be clear about law enforcement's role in all of this. 

"My office isn't here to count people in people's houses," Yon said. "For me to go into someone's house, I would need a search warrant."

Yon said his office will not be enforcing COVID-19 restrictions at a criminal level. 

"Of course we know the ramifications of COVID-19," Yon said. "We want people to be safe, we want people to follow the rules. I'm just drawing the line at making a physical arrest over someone having turkey dinner and there's three households there with seven people. I just draw the line there."

Yon says his office will focus on education. 

"We're going to evaluate the call," Yon said. "If it's just so and so was in, you know, Hoy's Hardware store without a mask, we're probably not going to do anything with that. But if it's we get a call of residents and they're having a party. We'll make contact with them, we'll talk about social distancing, wearing a mask all those important things that truly almost all Oregonians are doing anyways."

But Yon says it is ultimately the individual's decision on whether they adhere to these health and safety measures.  

"To me, it's what is our role in our community?" Yon said. "We are not the Gestapo, that's not what we're about."

People in Albany have mixed views on the sheriff's stance on the issue. 

"I'm okay with them not arresting people that gather at their homes because I do feel that that is an invasive overly reaching aspect of it," Renee Svendsen said. "But I do believe that where there are people gathered socially outside of the home, whether that be in church or in the park or wherever, I think that we do need to enforce."

The Marion County Sheriff's Office also put out a statement, saying it recognizes it cannot arrest or enforce "our way out of the pandemic".

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(30) comments

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Good for the Sheriffs. How absurd is the leftist hypocrisy that decriminalizes hard drugs, enables rioting, but heaven forbid Americans exercise their freedom of movement and freedom to congregate.

c.s100

If it is the law to limit the number of people in your home, then people should abide by that, and sheriffs and police should cite people for breaking the law, just like they do for any other law. Doing so is not acting like the Gestapo. You can't compare that to what happened to the Jews during WWII. It is an insensitive, ignorant, and hurtful to do so. Here in Albany, the police should do more about the whole mask situation. I don't want to wear a mask any more then anyone else does. However, I dislike it when I am in the store following the rules, and other people don't. To make it worse some of these maskless people like to get up right next to you. Some of them carry guns with them in the store so people will be afraid to ask them to put on a mask. I have seen this a few times in Fred Meyer. I don't care if a Sherriff or cop does not believe in the virus, or don't think it will do much to you if you catch it, it is still their job to up hold the law. They should be out there issuing citations for people who don't wear masks or have gathering in their home or elsewhere that exceed the legal limit. No wonder the Linn County Law Enforcement Levy overwhelmingly failed. If you don't do your job, don't expect people to put more money in your pockets.

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Here ya go everybody. Ya wanna know why Oregon has gone so far to the left just like California, Washington, and New York? It's sheeple like this one.

c.s100

So following the law makes me a sheeple. How absurd.

commentor

Well @c.s100, my 1st and 4th amendment rights, along my state constitutional rights do not end where your feelings and butthurtedness begins. You sound like a 'Karen' who is going to travel around the neighborhoods looking for the dreaded 6 or more people gathering for Thanksgiving and calling the cops on them, right? I suppose you are one of those people who would like to see the police show up, kick in a door, shoot the family dog and then arrest the occupants of the house right for enjoying their Thanksgiving.

And fyi, if a policeman shows up they had better have a warrant or else they are trespassing. Also several police agencies in the state said they will not enforce Kate the tyrant's edicts.

If you want to blindly follow Kate the tyrant unlawful and unconstitutional edicts like a good little sheeple that is fine, just be sure to stay in your safe place or basement whatever the case may be.

c.s100

LOL Commentor, you have a vivid imagination. This has nothing to do with who I follow, but rather that I follow the law. Apparently you don't know the definition of a "Karen" and to make matter worse, you assume I am female.

Yabbadabba

Get a clue. It isn't law. And educate yourself on the total ineffectiveness of masks vs. viruses. There's plenty of peer reviewed studies showing they don't work.

c.s100

Your the one who needs to get a clue. I have been a peer reviewer for public health scientific journals for years and until I retired was a public health official with the CDC. I know when you say there are plenty of peer reviewed studies showing they don't work, that that is not true. I am giving you the opportunity to put up or shut up. List all those many scientific peer reviewed studies that show mask don't work for Covid-19. I will read them and see what they say, and report my findings back to you.

commentor

. "Some of them carry guns with them in the store so people will be afraid to ask them to put on a mask. I have seen this a few times in Fred Meyer." Nope. Never seen this happen at all at a Fred Meyer.

"They should be out there issuing citations for people who don't wear masks or have gathering in their home" Nope. Issuing citations to people who have gatherings in their home is a violation of their 1st Amendment, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and their 4th Amendment, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, Kate the tyrant even had the gall to come out and say that she wanted neighbors to spy on their neighbors to see if they had more than 6 people gathering because that 7th or 8th person is a "super spreader."

c.s100

That is funny and so intelligent. Since you have not seen something, you assume it does not exist. Makes a lot of sense. I guess God does not exist since no one has seen him. I guess that is the philosophy to live by - e.g. you can't see the virus, so you don't think it is there. Well it is there and can kill you. If you see a drunk driver, you report them for the public good. Covid is no different, it also kills people, so people who don't follow the mandates should be reported. The Midwest thought that they would be clever and not enact, or enacted very limited measure, now they are drowning in Coronavirus, and hospitalizations and death continue to rapidly rise there. Their hospitals are overflowing and their medical staff are overtaxed and some are infected and have died as well. Is this what you want for Oregon?

Logicfirst

The Sheriff's job should be to keep their communities safe. Mask wearing and social distancing are a big part of that during this pandemic.

Yabbadabba

[thumbdown]

c.s100

Exactly!

Toothache

If Harris ends up as president, this will be how she runs the country. Get armed and store up on ammo. You will need it to defend yourself from commie liberals.

c.s100

Such a paranoid thought.

sarahs

Thank God! Finally a Sheriff with BALLS! And, common sense too! Even wants to follow the U.S. Constitution! Imagine that!

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Thank God! Finally, a female commentor with the balls to say..uhh..BALLS!

catfishink

Renee Svendson, from the constitution of the United States, the 1st amendment:It states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That includes going to church.

c.s100

No one has prohibited the establishment of religion, or prohibited the free exercise of Faith. Faith, and the expression of it, is not something that has to happens in a house of worship. Faith is something that comes from within. Just because you can't go to church right now the same way you did before, does not in anyway keep you from practicing/exercising your faith/religion. No one has stopped anyone from establishing a religion or practicing their chosen faith. Apparently your only concept of faith or spiritually, is that it only occurs inside a building with other people surrounding you. That is not what religion is. Funny how quite a few churches, even in Oregon, have been the epicenters for the local spread of the virus. If you want to break the law, go to church, pass the virus around, and maybe your mom will wind up dead because of it.

commentor

"My office isn't here to count people in people's houses," Yon said. "For me to go into someone's house, I would need a search warrant." And the sheriff is absolutely correct. If anything, it is Kate the tyrannical hypocrite who needs to be arrested.

commentor

'Some sheriffs in Oregon say they won't enforce COVID-19 restrictions: 'We are not the Gestapo' We shall see.

mairez

We'll have to see if there was any enforcement.

Roberto Estrello Demar

This isn't about Covid.

Delta85

The thing that get me upset is when the governor asked for others to turn people in if they saw violations! Hmmmm Hitler told his people to do that very same thing!

commentor

Yes he did.

c.s100

There is not any way you can compare the Governor of Oregon to Hitler. Such comparisons show you have little knowledge of Hitler or the Holocaust. It shows that you lack empathy for the people who endured it. If you understood the Holocaust, you would not make such comments. You can't comparing Governor Brown's actions to limit the number of people in your home for Thanksgiving to the rape, torture, and murder of millions of Jews and others across Europe. Shame on you!

Merlin

The Sheriffs may not be the Gestapo but Kate certainly is.

c.s100

As I said above, There is not any way you can compare the Governor of Oregon to Hitler. Such comparisons show you have little knowledge of Hitler or the Holocaust. It shows that you lack empathy for the people who endured it. If you understood the Holocaust, you would not make such comments. You can't comparing Governor Brown's actions to limit the number of people in your home for Thanksgiving to the rape, torture, and murder of millions of Jews and others across Europe. Shame on you!

Erik Erlow Eeckhart

Fines and jail time for people who have more than 6 people at their dinner table, but no charges at all for people who attempt to kill the police and burn down buildings in downtown. Brown and Ted are unstable

commentor

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