At 8:00 a.m. this morning, at the direction of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ “Safer at Home Order”, Emergency Order #12, went into effect. It was done so in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Law enforcement leaders throughout Trempealeau County have been working together over the past 24 hours reviewing and interpreting what it means to the people of the great State of Wisconsin, more specifically to the residents and businesses of Trempealeau County. Numerous inquiries are coming into my office seeking guidance on what this order means to them. Unfortunately, I do not have all the answers at this time as we were given the order at the same time you received it and are still working actively to fully understand the intended scope.
Our Mission is this:
The Trempealeau County Sheriff's Office is committed to protecting the lives, property and rights of all people, to maintain order and to enforce the laws of our Nation, State and County. We conduct ourselves professionally with honor, integrity, fairness and pride, maintaining the highest ethical standards to ensure public confidence.
No changes that have been made to our operations has changed our Mission in any way.
During these difficult and unprecedented times some of our individual rights are certainly being restricted. These rights are being restricted at the recommendation of medical health professionals for the greater good of all, so that others may live. This is a community effort that requires collaboration and cooperation from all. I ask the people and businesses of Trempealeau County to voluntarily comply with the “Safer at Home Order” issued by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers so that together we can get through these difficult times. I understand and appreciate the great personal sacrifices being made to accomplish victory. I internally struggle with this concept as a copy of the United States Constitution sits on my desk as a constant reminder of our foundation. It is not a document that gives us rights, it preserves our rights.
I am also here to assure you that the words in my leadership direction matter. My staff and I are committed and dedicated to protecting your constitutional guarantees. This order has not suspended the United States Constitution or the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. We are not under “martial law.” You will not be stopped without reasonable suspicion that a violation of law has occurred. This is the same standard that existed prior to this order. You will not be detained or questioned as to why you are leaving your house or questioned as to if the purpose of your travels falls under the essential travel portion of the order.
We will investigate and take enforcement action on blatant violations of this order that put our community at great risk. We are asking for voluntary compliance with this order so we can move forward and defeat this enemy. I want to end by thanking the people of Trempealeau County for their compliance, understanding, and for the great personal sacrifice. Like most law enforcement agencies, we have had to change how we operate during this pandemic. I am here to assure you that the entire Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Office is standing ready to protect and serve for you.
Our office has also received questions from business owners throughout Trempealeau County relating to what an essential business is. The below link is from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation website. It is help for businesses to determine whether or not they are essential. There is an inquiry tool at the bottom of the page where a request for essential designation can be made.