Idaho Dispatch

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Idaho Sheriff Says He Won’t Enforce Mask Mandate

By • November 24, 2020

Last week the Panhandle Health District passed a mask mandate for the second time.

The Panhandle Health District covers the following counties: Boundary, Bonner, Benewah, Kootenai, and Shoshone

One of the main concerns brought up in mask mandates across Idaho is the burden that a mask mandate would put on law enforcement. At least one of Idaho’s county sheriffs in the Panhandle Health District is speaking out against the mask mandate.

Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler says that they will not enforce the mask mandate in his county but he can’t speak for local police agencies and whether they will or won’t.

Wheeler made his announcement on Facebook by saying the following,

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing the mask mandate passed by the Panhandle Regional Health District.

When Bonner County Dispatch receives a complaint of a suspected violation of the mask mandate from a citizen, the complainant will be advised that the Sheriff’s Office will not be investigating or enforcing the mask mandate. Dispatch will close out the call and make a record of it. If the caller insists on speaking to a deputy, the deputy will call him/her back and state the same thing.

The three Police Departments in the county – Ponderay PD, Priest River PD and Sandpoint PD (who also provides services in the City of Kootenai) – will have to make their own decisions regarding if and how they will enforce the mask mandate. Bonner County Dispatch will forward the call to the Police Departments, and they are on their own to take it from there.

Governor Little, instead of calling up the Idaho Legislature, empowered the unelected Panhandle Health District with a legislative function. Please read what the Panhandle Health District wrote, and decide for yourself how it could possibly be enforced.

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office is working at maximum capacity on real crime, and it cannot enforce the unenforceable mask rules. Most law enforcement agencies around the country are either passively or actively refusing to follow these types of directives. Any arrests/citations that have been made/issued in the past were related to high-profile targets (such as the Psalm Sing in Moscow, Idaho), and I believe they have nothing to do with public health.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sheriff Daryl Wheeler

In the statement, Wheeler says his department won’t enforce the mask mandate and that if someone calls with a complaint they will simply make a record of it. Wheeler also says local police departments will have to make their own decisions on if they will enforce the mask mandate.

On the Bonner County Sheriff Facebook page, many of the comments Idaho Dispatch read were in support of Sheriff Wheeler’s statement.

Here are a few examples:

However, not everyone agreed wtih Sheriff Wheeler’s stance. Some of the comments Idaho Dispatch read were from citizens frustrated Wheeler was refusing to enforce the mask mandate.

Here are a few examples of those:

Do you support Sheriff Wheeler’s refusal to enforce the mask mandate or do you believe he should enforce it?

Let us know in the comments below.


Tags: Bonner County, Daryl Wheeler, Mask Mandate

7 thoughts on “Idaho Sheriff Says He Won’t Enforce Mask Mandate

  1. Yes. It isn’t law. It is a recommendation and shouldn’t be law without going through the proper legislative process. I am good with his decision. Anyone who would enforce this doesn’t understand the rights give to us under the United States of America Constitution. This Constitution gives us the right to choose how we conduct ourselves and doesn’t allow for tyrannical government to supercede these rights. Making people do what you want makes this an unfreeze society and we need to stand as a free country in order that our religious and other rights remain protected. Patriots know this and will defend it. If you don’t like it, go join the nations that have the socialistic ideals you love and leave our nation of freeman alone.

  2. Yes. It isn’t law. It is a recommendation and shouldn’t be law without going through the proper legislative process. I am good with his decision. Anyone who would enforce this doesn’t understand the rights give to us under the United States of America Constitution. This Constitution gives us the right to choose how we conduct ourselves and doesn’t allow for tyrannical government to supercede these rights. Making people do what you want makes this an unfree society and we need to stand as a free country in order that our religious and other rights remain protected. Patriots know this and will defend it. If you don’t like it, go join the nations that have the socialistic ideals you love and leave our nation of freeman alone.

  3. Hip hop horray for Sheriff Wheeler!
    Hopefully Idaho has many more just like him. We have a really good one in Fremont County- Len Humphries. God bless them both!
    “Support your local sheriff and keep them INDEPENDENT “

  4. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Shoshone County sheriff has said pretty much the same thing, just not on the record.

  5. I applaud the stance of Sheriff Wheeler. The role of Government is to protect our rights, not pick who’s health or feelings are more important.
    Sheriffs are the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the County. And as such, have authority over all law enforcement. They can arrest the FBI… They can say, this is not constitutional and will not be enforced in my county. Look up Sheriff Mack.
    Also, the Supreme Court has ruled, police have no duty to act. Kind of scary if you are a californian who is used to using the police to CONTROL other people.
    But this is Idaho. We don’t trust government, we don’t look to government. We fight for freedom… individual sovereignty.
    Since the mid aughts, police, for some reason, have been trained contempt for We the People. Is it Globalism??? This attitude has migrated into Idaho, look up Jack Yantis. I’ve talked to police who say they get no training on the Constitutions… and attorneys are telling them unconstitutional acts are legal. They do not understand their oath of office, or how to preserve the peace, or old school investigating crime w/o violating the 4th and 5th Amendments. They no longer “Protect and Serve,” they “Enforce.”
    But, how many of us do understand our Federal and State Constitutions or the Act of 1871?

  6. Agencies should not have regulatory authority or power. Unelected officials should make recommendations to the elected officials who then make the laws or regulations. The elected officials can then be held accountable by the citizens who elected them. Elected officials like to pass the buck on to someone that the citizens can’t hold responsible for their decisions.

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