Michigan AG's office says there is no 'mask hotline' to report violations

Non-compliance should be reported to local agencies
Posted at 7:32 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 20:59:19-04

MACOMB COUNTY (WXYZ) — More business owners as well as the Macomb County Sheriff are weighing in on enforcement of the governor's executive order on wearing masks.

RELATED: Macomb County Sheriff: We won't be issuing citations to people not wearing masks

On Tuesday, the Macomb COunty Sheriff weighed in to share his policy on mask enforcement as the state attorney general issues yet another update.

“Wearing a mask over my face isn’t my first choice, but I’m going to do it because it’s the right thing to do," said Sharon Eisenshtadt, owner of the Fine Jewelry and Clothing store.

She says she supports the governor's executive order, which requires shoppers to wear masks at all times. She and a neighboring business owner at Artiste Salon also believe all police and sheriff's agencies across Michigan should be enforcing the mandate.

“At the end of the day, we should all be on the same page whether it’s law enforcement or just the people," said Suela Gjekay with Artiste Salon.

RELATED: Wayne County will enforce governor's order on mask with warning first, then $500 ticket

On Tuesday, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham took time to explain the response of his office after it was announced that deputies would not be giving out citations for those not wearing masks.

“How we are responding is that if someone goes into a business without a mask, the business must require it or ask them to leave," Wickersham said. "If they don’t, that’s when we expect a call. What we don’t want is every time someone walks in without a mask, the store calls to get us to respond and get compliance on the mask.”

He added that the state is also responsible for a part of the process, and he's obligated to manage resources for other priority calls.

“We also looked at the executive order, if the business isn’t complying it says the state will handle those cases," Wickersham said.

And on social media, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel adding:

“If someone wishes to make a complaint about a business allowing someone not to wear a mask or if someone isn’t wearing a mask they are being asked by the Governor to call (888) 535-6136 so that her office or MSP can handle the complaint. The Governor insists that this number be used and not 911.”

However, a spokesperson for the Michigan Attorney General's Office says they don't want that number used, instead, they now say:

We do not supervise city police chiefs or county sheriffs. They answer to their constituents, taxpayers and voters, and we encourage those residents who are upset with the actions of those agencies to express their dissatisfaction with the leadership there.

Police agencies that might be confused over the executive orders may reach out to the Governor and Attorney General’s offices for clarification and guidance, along with county prosecutors.

The Governor’s executive orders carry the weight of law. Local police agencies and county prosecutors are still the most appropriate authorities to deal with violations of the executive orders as they are present in the communities they police and deal with complaints about violations of the law each and every day. We trust those professionals to use their authority and discretion in addressing reports of executive order violations.

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