Butler County, in Ohio, Sheriff Richard Jones announced he would not enforce the health department’s mask mandate:

“I can tell you this – I am not the mask police. I am not going to enforce any mask-wearing. That is not my responsibility. That is not my job. People should be able to make those choices themselves,” the sheriff said during an impromptu press conference on Facebook Live.

The news comes as the Ohio Department of Health issued a mandate that all citizens in Ohio’s “red counties” wear masks to slow the spread of coronavirus across the state.

Butler County, along with Hamilton, Montgomery, Franklin, Huron, Cuyahoga and Trumbull counties, were identified as hot spots by Gov. Mike DeWine.

The mandate says that people must wear a mask indoors, but not a residence. People must wear a mask outdoors if they cannot social distance.

Jones insisted he and the deputies will not enforce the mandate. He also pleaded with people not to call 911 if they spot people not wearing a mask:

“It’s totally out of control. It should be left up to the individual if they want to wear a mask. If someone is sick, I can understand the mask-wearing. But for all of us to have to have your temperature taken, to have to wear a mask – where is it going to stop?” Jones said.

“I’m not a scientist, but I want you to know the police are busy…Don’t call 911 because someone is not wearing a mask. If the health departments want to control who is not wearing a mask, let them put a little yellow light on their car and they can stop people and go in,” he said.

“I, as the Butler County Sheriff, am not enforcing any mask-wearing to the public, and my deputies will not enforce it. We’ve got more important things to do.”


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