Idaho County is a great place to be living in unpredictable times like these.
I am appreciative that the vast majority of citizens have thus far complied with the governor’s order to limit social contact by staying home -- buying precious time until medications and other solutions can be developed to counteract this pandemic. By wisely staying individually isolated, we, in Idaho County, have prevented the contagion from spreading amongst us. For this reason, as the chief law enforcement officer, I have not felt any necessity to take severely restrictive measures to enforce the governor’s directive.
Not only has this cooperation by citizens of Idaho County limited the spread of the virus, it has ensured our freedoms remain intact as we pull together in agreement to defend ourselves for the common good. As always, as your sheriff, I am committed to the least amount of control by government, which means more freedom for citizens of Idaho County.
You can be particularly proud of sheriff office deputies, dispatchers and office staff who have been vigilant, faithful in their duty, and have not wavered in their jobs. In the same way first responders, medical professionals, and emergency service providers have continued to provide for community protection in spite of personal exposure. Let’s not forget other services, like those who are working to keep food supplies stocked up and gasoline flowing. When others have stayed home, these folks have maintained important continuity for our communities.
The sheriff’s office sees no need at this time to enforce the governor’s required restrictions with criminal penalties, and will maintain this position unless an unusual situation arises dictating such a strong response in order to protect others. As sheriff, I am very reluctant to issue citations as people go about their necessary business in safe, common sense ways while at the same time staying somewhat isolated. It is apparent to me that the people of this county understand and acknowledge the significance of this health emergency and are willing to do their part. Be assured that this county sheriff’s office is working alongside both state and federal entities to ensure fundamental rights are not being violated during this state of emergency, much the same as our office always has, and as long as I am sheriff, always will. Rights given by the creator are unchanging even during a state of emergency. I will continue to resist any attempt to impose unnecessary limitations on citizens of this county who are already in fundamental agreement of their rights and responsibilities and are pulling together in socially trustworthy ways.
I understand that some folks are fearful, anxious, and some are prone to overreact or under-react to this extraordinary situation, but it is critical that we all make appropriate decisions individually, based on situational facts, and with concern for the larger community. So far, this personal accountability has neutralized the power of government to intervene excessively and proven it to be unnecessary in Idaho County. As a people we are demonstrating our ability to successfully govern ourselves without nanny intervention.
A sincere thank you is well deserved for the positive common sense response of Idaho County citizens to this unprecedented situation.