No charges for Linn County residents who violate freeze, sheriff says

Sheriff Jim Yon said they do want residents to follow current health guidelines, and their focus will be on education.

Posted: Nov 19, 2020 8:02 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2020 8:32 PM

ALBANY, Ore. -- The Linn County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday their deputies will not be pursuing criminal charges against those who violate the governor’s two-week freeze.

The sheriff’s office said they will use an educational approach instead.

Sheriff Jim Yon said small businesses are struggling already with the pandemic and they don’t see the need to police private residences, small businesses, or religious gatherings. Yon said he's all for social distancing and wearing masks but the job of law enforcement is to uphold the constitution.

“In law enforcement we respect the constitution and we’re just very conciensous about that and we don’t want to cross that line because we are sworn to uphold the state constitution and the constitution of the United States and we just want to make sure we do that,” Yon said.

He said if the sheriff’s office does get a call about a large social gathering, his deputies will talk to those involved, but they will not make any arrests. Yon said he still wants people in Linn County to follow OHA and CDC health guidlines.

“We want people to be safe, we want people to be wearing masks to take the proper precautions,” Yon said. “If you're afraid and don't want to go out, than don't go out, stay home, that's your right to do that.”

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