HAMILTON, Ohio (FOX19) - He is not the “mask police," and now Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones says he’s not the “curfew police,” either.
“This curfew is going to do nothing, absolutely nothing,” Jones said.
Jones, who has been outspoken about COVID-19 orders being the responsibility of law enforcement, doesn’t support Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s statewide curfew announced Tuesday to curb the spread of COVID-19, and he says he will not enforce it.
“Everybody is fatigued and tired,” said Jones. “The governor is a nice guy, [but] never reaches out to law enforcement. None of my fellow law enforcement people, we’ve never been talked to. We find out what is going on when we see him at the news conference.”
It comes at a time where hospitalizations and cases are at all-time highs.
According to the state, more than 312,000 people have been infected with COVID-19, and there have been nearly 5,800 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 22,846 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,250 admissions to intensive care units.
Under the curfew, which goes into effect Thursday, businesses should be closed and people should be at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., DeWine said. The health order will last for three weeks.
“Right now, I can guarantee you there are people who are tweeting and saying that ‘DeWine is a dictator and a tyrant.’ We have different points of view," DeWine said Tuesday. “We wanted to see what would be least disruptive that would not cause other problems, other social problems, unemployment, more mental health problems, but could make a significant difference.”
DeWine said violators of the order could face a 2nd degree misdemeanor charge, which would result in a $750 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
“I’m not going to have my employees go out and make arrests, or stop people,” said Jones. “People are angry, and I don’t care what the governor says, somebody will disobey or run. Bad things will happen from this curfew."
It is easy when you are up on top of the mountain to make these rules and look down. It’s a lot harder when you’re down, looking up.”
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