Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey is turning his staff’s eyes away from mask enforcement during a pandemic in Kankakee County.
Downey told The Center Square Monday “We have enough liability issues to worry about on a daily basis that this would just exacerbate the problem and I just don’t see it being legitimate,” Downey said.
Kankakee County has seen one of its highest jump in case counts in the last 48 hours, with 18 and 11 new cases announced of the pandemic on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Those case numbers included four children in Kankakee County.
Governor Pritzker has said he wants local agencies to enforce the revised stay-at-home order, taking effect beginning today.
“What they do in their social life obviously dictates where they’re going healthwise,” Downey said. “For him to blame sheriffs, which doesn’t surprise me, is irresponsible.”
For the time being, “We take pride in having one of the finest County Sheriff’s Police Departments in the State of Illinois,” remains as the Sheriff’s tagline on their website, despite openly rebelling against the largest public health crisis in Illinois in the past century.
Later this morning, Sheriff Downey will be one of several presenters addressing citizens in Kankakee County for only the second time since the pandemic began. An announcement is anticipated for the “Coalition for Responsible Reopening” in Kankakee County.
Sheriffs in Douglas and Tazewell County have said they won’t enforce the order. Douglas County has 14 cases of COVID-19.
Tazewell 37 cases with 3 deaths.
In Kankakee County, as of Thursday, there were 383 cases with 28 dead from the pandemic.