Hello, I am Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling. County Executive Jonathan Delegrave and I have been working diligently to ensure that all essential needs are met for Racine County Citizens. Please remember, your safety and health will always be our number one priority.
The recent “Safer at Home Order” is unprecedented and has created some panic, uncertainty, and confusion in our state. As your sheriff, I wanted to take a moment to share my understanding of the scope of the governors’ order. This order has not suspended the United States Constitution or the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. We are certainly not under “Martial Law.”
You will not be stopped without reasonable suspicion that a violation of law has occurred. In fact, this is the same standard that existed prior to this order. You will not be detained and questioned about why you are leaving your home or questioned if the purpose of your travels falls under the essential travels of the order. There’s no doubt that our rights are being restricted to some degree at the recommendation of medical health professionals for the greater good of all so that others may stay healthy and live.
Undoubtedly, this is a lot to ask of our citizens and requires a massive community effort that demands compliance and cooperation from all of us. Please plan ahead and greatly limit travels to essential needs only such as essential employment, food, gas, medicine and to care for those who need a little extra help. Any non-essential traveling and congregating is simply irresponsible and puts lives in jeopardy. Remember, staying home saves lives.
Please consider using social media to connect to family, friends and neighbors. Please call or Facetime elderly family members and neighbors to make certain their essential needs are also being met. As many of our elderly members have already been isolated for weeks.
Please understand that our first responders are also trying to stay safe and healthy just like you. We have already begun greatly limiting our contact with our citizens to the extent that we can. That said, we are absolutely committed to keeping your safety as our top priority. I want every citizen to feel safe in their homes and sleep well at night knowing your Law enforcement in Racine County is healthy, strong and at the ready to protect you and your family.
During this time, we are asking for your patience, understanding, cooperation and your sincere compliance. I have no doubt with all of us working as good neighbors to one another, we will get through this crisis together and we will soon rise healthier and much stronger as a community.
Finally, I ask that you keep all first responders in your prayers.
Thank you and God Bless.