MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) At least two sheriffs in the state of Alabama have announced that they will not enforce Governor Kay Ivey's "Safer at Home" orders.
Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon and Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack both announced via social media that they would not send deputies out to businesses or churches to enforce orders from the governor.
According to Mack, he sent a letter to the governor's office on Monday asking for modification to her current "Safer at Home" order requesting that she immediately allow Alabamians to go back to work and to go back to worship.
"I think this is important to our community. In that spirit," Mack continued, "I've also, consulted with my deputy sheriffs and other law enforcement, I have also added that while we continue to notify businesses if they are in violation of the governor's order, will notify them that the governor's order is still in place, because there are other institutions out there that are part of this.
"There is the health department, and there are many other regulatory agencies outside the sheriff's office that have a say in the enforcement of that rule. But the sheriff's office will not take any law enforcement action on those businesses or on those religious institutions that are wanting to meet and wanting to get back to business."
Moon, who posted on social media that he had instructed deputies not to take action against businesses or churches that violate state restrictions, told WBMA-TV that he was not defying orders from the governor.
"It’s just we have people in our county that are hurting that need to get back to work and support their families. I can’t in my heart of hearts punish somebody for trying to do what’s best for themselves their families and their congregations,” he said.
Governor Ivey's office released the following statement: "Most people in Alabama are abiding by the public health order without the need for use of law enforcement. They have been patient, smart and willing to practice social distancing. Governor Ivey points to Alabamians for being the reason for our progress and is grateful for that. She will continue taking a measured and responsible approach to reopening our state’s economy, and it will take everyone to make this a reality."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.