Delaware County, Indiana

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Sheriff's Statement on Mask Mandate

Starting Monday, July 27th, 2020 an executive order goes into effect making it mandatory that citizens over eight years old wear a face covering (mask) while inside a public place, including commercial and transportation entities, schools for all faculty, staff and visitors and students from third grade and up, as well as outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible. During his press conference the Governor also said, "Please know that the mask police will not be patrolling Indiana streets."

This is a public health issue and not a police issue. The Delaware County Sheriff's Office is not the 'mask police' and I am asking you not to call dispatch for the sole purpose of reporting someone not wearing a mask in one of these situations. Calling dispatch to report people allegedly not wearing a mask will overwhelm and overload the dispatch system. This will have serious consequences. People who need immediate help with serious life threatening medical issues or crimes of violence will not be able to get prompt assistance. IF you feel obligated to report mask violations, please contact the Indiana State Department of Health or the Delaware County Health Department.

The Sheriff's Office also recognizes the rights of property owners and businesses and their rights to create policy for their property. If a business, school, government building, etc...requires you to wear a mask while on their property, then you can either wear the mask or leave.The same thing applies to private property; if the property owner asks you to wear a mask; you either wear a mask or leave. If you are told to leave a business or property because you refuse to wear a mask that becomes a criminal matter, trespassing, and we will respond to those types of calls.

Thank You,
Tony Skinner, Sheriff