Over the last two days, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said he has received numerous calls about enforcement of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order mandating face makes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“After consultation with legal counsel and reading the governing statutes, it has become evident the Sheriff’s Office would not be able to enforce the order,” he said. Based on HB 2016 which amends the governing statute, KSA 48-939, violation of the statute carries a civil penalty, not a criminal penalty. The Sheriff’s Office does not investigate nor enforce civil actions, he said.
“Based on review of the statutes, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing the non-wearing of masks or using any of our resources to respond to calls simply because someone is not wearing a mask,” he said. “We will continue to respond to crimes and emergencies as needed.”