DARKE COUNTY, OH – There seems to be some misinformed people, in regards to the role of the Sheriff, when it comes to enforcing the social distancing rules or closing of stores and businesses, etc., with the orders that have been passed down from the State and Federal agencies.
These rules and guidelines have been passed down by health agencies across the country. The closing or opening of stores and businesses is NOT the result of a Sheriff’s Order. Is there a mechanism in place for violators to be cited and/or arrested? Absolutely. Are we, at the Sheriff’s Office, going to search for violators? No.
We are as anxious as anyone to get things opened back up and running. We encourage those that can meet the guidelines set forth by the Ohio and Darke County health agencies, by all means, get up and running.
If anyone thinks the Sheriff has the authority or power to authorize the opening of stores or businesses against the rules and regulations set down by the Health agencies is completely misinformed.
For the most part, all citizens of Darke County have been terrific to deal with and have completely and voluntarily followed the guidelines.
All that being said, yes, we have issued citations to two people; however, it was not as a result of us out looking for violators, it was a result of someone violating another law when they were not supposed to be out at all.
We, at the Sheriff’s Office, are not interested in and will not make criminals out of hard-working people that are trying to make an honest living.