Posted on the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page: April 17, 2020
Sheriff Mike Borkovich’s statement on COVID-19 Response and Enforcement Protocols
The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all of our residents and visitors about the dangers of the COVID-19 Pandemic, including how we will be handling both complaints as well as violations of both President Trump’s and Governor Whitmer’ s Executive orders. Since the 13th of March, 2020, we have and continue to support these executive orders. We strongly encourage the SOCIAL DISTANCING CONCEPT, WEARING OF MASKS WHEN IN PUBLIC, THOROUGH WASHING OF THE HANDS, AVOIDING TOUCHING OF YOUR FACE IF IN PUBLIC as well as the many other medically recommended steps that we can take to try to lessen or even stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 Virus. Keep in mind that we are all in this fight together as AMERICANS.
Though not originally talked or even known about, this Virus can kill all walks of life and all ages are susceptible as either having or carrying this Virus which may be spread before any symptoms or affects occur. We strongly support the Federal and State leaders who are also frustrated with the virus and the often political upheaval that surrounds such an event. That said, we are fully aware that the, “ Shelter in place and stay at home unless absolutely necessary “ portions of the Executive Orders are very hard on people and their families. Fears about schools being closed until fall of 2020, of being laid-off or even fired from jobs have created stress not seen since the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression or even World War II. Many small businesses are also on the brink of total collapse, Children are at home and many people are struggling with where their next meal will come from or where something as simple as toilet paper can be found. WE hear the people loud and clear and want you to join forces with us in this battle against COVID-19.
We are not making traffic stops to see where you are travelling to, ticketing or arresting people whose kid ’s are playing in the yard or questioning people as to unnecessary travel. We are being asked questions such as, “ If I am fishing with my Son or Daughter in a 16’ boat with a motor, and my neighbor has the exact same boat but without the motor and he is fishing next to me with one of his kid’s, am I going to get a $1,000.00 Fine and be put in jail for up to 90 days? “. Other people are trying to justify working in public and specifically as to why they are allowed or should be allowed to continue working while other people are staying home and not working. To all … please follow these orders as closely as possible and remember that we are all in this difficult situation together. I honestly believe that here in Leelanau County – if not elsewhere, we have at least a 95% compliance rate and I am so proud of all of you who are doing their best to help us through this horrible time period.
I especially thank all of you for putting up with such hardships while not challenging your local Law Enforcement Officers by putting us in the positions of having to enforce or not enforce these orders. For those who choose to violate the orders – often at the expense of others, I will tell you that we are working closely with our Prosecutor and as we investigate each situation , you may receive a, ‘ Cease and desist Letter “ and if you continue to defy the order a prosecution may be necessary.
In closing, WE WILL NOT VIOLATE YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, YOUR CIVIL LIBERTIES or ANY OTHER RULES OF LAW just because of the COVID-19 Virus. We still have great discretion and as such, will continue to show as much compassion as possible as we work through these admittedly hard times together. May God Bless and keep safe ALL OF YOU, YOUR FAMILIES and our GREAT NATION.
Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich.