Lodi Police Department Information Regarding Governor Evers’ Executive Order #82 And Emergency Order #1 Requiring Face Coverings
In response to several requests for information regarding how The Lodi Police Department will respond to the new face covering requirement I have issued this letter to hopefully inform the public of my departments anticipated response. First and foremost we anticipate voluntary compliance within our community. The order, as it is written, does not provide a law enforcement function but rather a public health matter.
I do not believe that law enforcement has a legal remedy for non-compliance. Statue 323.10 and 323.12(4)(b) allows the Governor to issue public safety orders. A review of the statue shows that a violation of the order, standing alone, does not provide a criminal penalty. Instead an intentional violation is enforceable through a civil forfeiture. Such a violation can be reported to a local public health official for follow-up for referral to a district attorney, who has statutory authority under 978.05(2) to prosecute a state forfeiture action.
Based on my interpretation of the statutes, The Lodi Police Department will not enforce the order. The Lodi Police Department will respond on a case by case basis in order to keep the peace. I will caution individuals, actions that rise to level of disturbance could result in a criminal penalty such as disorderly conduct.
We ask that you do not report non-violent violations of the order to the police. Please report any intentional violations to your local health department or The State of Wisconsin Health Department.
We are fortunate to live in or near Lodi. We have an excellent community and a strong sense of pride. I trust that together we can reduce the spread of this virus in our community.
As always Be Safe
Chief Wayne A. Smith is currently employed by the City of Lodi Wi. Smith is a charter member (1996) of The Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators (WAHI) and held the office of President (2012-2013), and in 2011 was named Death Investigator of the Year by WAHI.