File Photo (McHenry County Sheriff’s Office) | Photo by Alex Vucha.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office announced Saturday morning they will not criminally enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders.

“The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office at this time has no plan to enforce the Governor’s order as a criminal offense,” McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said.

Prim referenced a quote from Pritzker on May 6 when he said that state authorities do not have the “capacity or desire to police individual behavior” of its 12.7 million residents.

“We too, do not have the capacity or desire to enforce the Governor’s orders. The Sheriff’s Office does encourage residents to self-monitor and voluntarily comply with the orders,” Prim said.

“It is our duty to ensure the safety of all citizens within McHenry County is our priority. With the Governor’s order, voluntary compliance is important in moving forward on the road to a revitalized and restored community,” he said, adding “The community’s safety and wellbeing, mentally and physically, are of the utmost concern.”

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The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office’s announcement comes following numerous county sheriffs in Illinois that have said they will not enforce Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. Some of those counties include Ogle, Kane, Kendall, Winnebago and Madison.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has warned there could be consequences for counties who don’t enforce his executive orders.

Pritzker has threatened litigation and to withhold federal funding. “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.

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association said it is ‘outrageous’ that Pritzker would threaten consequences against law enforcement.

“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.

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