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Sheriffs’ association outraged after governor threatens consequences for police who don’t enforce his order

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker speaks at his daily coronavirus briefing on May 2, 2020 | Photo: Colin Boyle/My Block, My Hood, My City.

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association said it is ‘outrageous’ after Gov. J.B. Pritzker threatened consequences for law enforcement departments who don’t enforce his executive orders.

“Illinois Sheriffs have been elected by their local citizens to keep their communities safe, a trust that every sheriff and sworn law enforcement officer holds dear,” Jim Kaitschuk, executive director of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association said.

“It is outrageous that the Governor is threatening retaliation against these leaders and the men and women of their offices. He is insulting heroic police officers, corrections officers and local voters,” Kaitschuk said.

As more and more sheriff’s offices and police departments across the state say they will not enforce Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, Pritzker again indicated they could face consequences.

Pritzker has threatened litigation and to withhold federal funding to counties. “Counties that try to reopen in defiance will not be reimbursed by FEMA for damage they cause themselves. Local law enforcement and the Illinois State Police can and will take action,” he said on Wednesday.

“You weren’t elected to do what is easy. You were elected to do what’s right. I don’t have sympathy for those so intent on disregarding science and logic, so afraid to tell their communities what they don’t want to hear, that they put people’s lives at risk,” Pritzker said.

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“I don’t know how to make this more real for you. More people will get sick and die if we don’t stay the course. Be a responsible public servant. Step up and lead. Now, more than ever, your communities need you. Don’t let them down,” he added.

Kaitschuk said that the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association has not been consulted by the governor or his office during the pandemic.

“It is extremely frustrating to hear these continued comments in response to those that may not agree with his positions. Sheriffs were elected by their counties to keep them safe and they will continue to do so,” Kaitschuk said.

Numerous county sheriffs in Illinois have said they will not enforce Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. Some of those counties include Ogle, Kane, Kendall, Winnebago and Madison.


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