Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols wants to make one thing clear, his department will not be “setting up a police state” to enforce Governor Janet Mills’ stay-at-home order. Nichols is clearly mindful of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, but plans to use discretion in enforcing the Governor’s measure.
In a written statement, Sheriff Nichols, one of Maine’s sixteen county sheriffs said, “We will not be setting up a Police State. PERIOD.
The Sheriff’s Office will not purposefully go out and stop vehicles because they are on the road or stop and ask why people are out and about. To do so puts our officers at risk. This is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia where you are asked for your papers!”
His statement goes on to explain that what the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department will focus on is “rare situations where there are a lot of people overtly hanging out in public — obviously in defiance of the Governor’s order.”
Even then, Sheriff Nichols says, they will try to educate people first and “will avoid arrests unless absolutely necessary.”
He also reminded residents that his team is “more interested in the safety and well-being of the public as well as our officers at this time.”
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