Sheriff's office will not enforce mask mandate

From Local Sources

JASPER — The Dubois County Sheriff's Office will not respond to complaints regarding people not wearing a mask in public, however, the agency will respond to disturbances related to masks as they develop.

In a letter to the public released today, Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter says his letter is not intended to start a debate or an argument, but to inform the public on how his agency will respond to calls regarding Gov. Eric Holcomb's executive order mandating that face masks be worn in public and indoor spaces. The mandate takes effect Monday.

"At this time, the executive order is being challenged as to whether it is constitutional or not," the sheriff says. "Therefore, this order cannot and will not be enforced by our agency to the extent of legal ramifications."

Kleinhelter adds that any business or organization may refuse service to anyone who refuses to wear a mask. Refusal to leave the business when asked could be treated as criminal trespass, the sheriff says.

"Whether you support or oppose the Governor's decision, I ask of you all, please be respectful and or tactful when addressing another person about mask issues, or if you are confronted about your decision to wear or not wear a mask," Kleinhelter says. "Let's all work together to make good, sound and respectful decisions. Thank you all in advance for your cooperation during this difficult time."

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