Elkhart Co. Sheriff Says Dept. Won't Enforce Mask Mandate, Elkhart City P.D. Has Different Approach

Jul 24, 2020

In a Facebook posting, Elkhart Co. Sheriff Jeff Siegel has weighed in on the upcoming statewide face mask mandate set to take effect Monday. 

In a post Siegel says, "My stance is the same now as it was when the county mandated masks. This is not enforceable much like the previous mandate by the health officer. My officers have not and will not enforce this. "

Elkhart County has held at Stage 4 in Indiana's reopening plan due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases. The rest of Indiana moved to Stage 4.5.

Friday afternoon, the Elkhart Police Department issued its position on how city officers will respond to the new mandate. 

(You can read the release below.)

The Elkhart Police Department and the City of Elkhart support the efforts of the governor and health officials during this public health crisis. The Elkhart Police Department will look at violations of the mask law on a case-by-case basis and as emphasized by Governor Holcomb, will continue to prioritize education over enforcement. While we are unable to respond to every report of non-compliance, we will be tracking and monitoring these reports to identify any trends that could require intervention.

Officers of the Elkhart Police Department will be leading by example and wearing masks to protect the public and ourselves. We remind members of our community to show respect and be tactful when addressing individuals not wearing a mask. Businesses, organizations and individuals may refuse service or access to their property to those not wearing a mask. Refusal to leave a business, organization or individual’s property when asked could be viewed as trespassing, which is a crime.