Prairie police chief: Enforcing Evers’ mask mandate isn’t our job

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PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. (WKBT) — Don’t call the Prairie du Chien Police Department about violations of Gov. Tony Evers’ mandate to wear face coverings, because Chief Kyle Teynor says his officers won’t enforce the order.
Prairie Police Chief Kyle Teynor (2)“Knowing that the wearing of face coverings is a very polarizing topic, I wish to make it very clear prior to the effective date of August 1, 2020, that the Prairie du Chien Police Department will not be the enforcement agency” for the executive order Gov. Tony Evers issued Thursday, Teynor said in a statement.
The order requires masks indoors in public places.
“Our officers WILL NOT be responding to this type of complaint unless other circumstances require a law enforcement response,” the chief said.
Under the declaration of a public health emergency, violations are not under the police department’s jurisdiction, Teynor said, adding that complaints should go instead to the governor’s office, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or the Crawford County Health Department.
Teynor isn’t the first Badger State law officer to balk at enforcing the order. Sheriff Dennis Stuart of the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office in northern Wisconsin published a post on the department’s Facebook page with his view of the mandate.
“My deputies have sworn an oath to the Constitution, and when a law or order is in conflict, we must defend the individual rights of our people. You have an individual right to make your own medical decisions. We as government officials shall not intrude,” Stuart’s statement said.
“The Constitution can’t be suspended, whether people get sick or not,” he said.