Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin has positioned himself similarly to the Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity County Sheriffs announcing this evening on the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page his deputies would not be enforcing compliance of COVID-19 protocols.
Sheriff Martin provided the Government Codes that justify the state’s mandates in attempts to halt the pandemic, but asserted the “authority granted under section 26602” allowing him to make the determination that his deputies would not be “enforcing compliance of any health or emergency orders related to curfews, staying at home, or other social gathering inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates.”
Read the full press release below:
In response to much social uncertainty and numerous inquiries, I wanted to clarify the position of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office relative to existing health orders, as well as any potential impending orders at the County or State level.
It is important to note Government Code section 8627 authorizes the Governor, during a state of emergency, to “promulgate, issue, and enforce such orders and regulations as are deemed necessary”. Section 8567 states such orders “shall have the force and effect of law”. Further, section 8665 makes violation of such an order a misdemeanor. However, section 26602 gives the sheriff the authority, but not the obligation to enforce such orders.
In accordance with the authority granted under section 26602, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will not be determining compliance with, or enforcing compliance of any health or emergency orders related to curfews, staying at home, or other social gathering inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates.
Further, we will not dispatch deputies for these purposes; callers will be transferred or advised to contact the County Public Health Department, in accordance with Health and Safety Code section 101030. Of course, if there is potential criminal behavior or the potential for impacts to public or personal safety, we will continue to respond appropriately.
Please understand this applies only to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Other State, County, and City agencies may be actively enforcing these orders.
Brian L. Martin