Updated July 8th, 2020
Kitsap County Sheriff's statement concerning
statewide face coverings order
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson released the following statement, June 25, regarding Washington State Secretary of Health Order 20-03, dated June 24, 2020:
"The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office has been receiving calls and inquiries regarding the updated state directives on face mask requirements in response to the recent Washington State Secretary of Health order regarding the requirements of wearing of face coverings. The statewide face covering order is a public health and safety measure. It is not a mandate for law enforcement to detain, cite or arrest violators.
"The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office has not cited, detained, or arrested any citizen because of recent health directives issued by the State of Washington or the Kitsap County Health District and will continue to focus on education and partnership with our community to respond to the public health crisis. We encourage all citizens of Kitsap County to make safety-focused decisions and follow health-based directives."
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Washington State Secretary of Health Order 20-03 may be read here: SecHealth20-03
An Overview of COVID-19 Statewide Face Covering Requirements for business owners, employees and customers may be read here: FaceMasks
Frequently Asked Questions: Face Mask Enforcement
Q1. Should I say something if someone near me isn't wearing a face covering?
A1. No. Someone may have a medical reason for not wearing a face covering. Whether those around you are wearing face coverings or not, focus on keeping six feet of distance between you and washing your hands often.
Q2. What should I do if I see someone not wearing a mask?
A2. Nothing. Some people have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous. Just wear your mask and stay six feet away.
Q3. Why aren't the police enforcing the state's mask order?
A3. During these challenging times, remember that we're all in this together and each of us must do our best to be our best. Local law enforcement agencies and public officials are focused on education and community engagement regarding state orders related to COVID-19 and the best ways our community can limit the spread of COVID-19 and recover from the pandemic.
As noted by the Washington State Patrol: "The statewide face covering order is a public health and safety measure, it is not a mandate for law enforcement to detain, cite or arrest violators but rather an evidence-based and safety focused directive meant to slow the spread of a potentially deadly disease."
If you have concerns about individuals not wearing masks, you may visit www.kitsappublichealth.org/concern to submit a concern to the Kitsap Public Health District.
Q4. Where can I get more information about wearing a mask?
Q5. What should I do if I have a concern about employees at a business not wearing masks?
A5. Customers who are concerned that a business is not adequately enforcing the face mask order or other Safe Start requirements can file a complaint. Violations can be enforced by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries as a safety and health violation by the employer.
Click here to submit a complaint:
Q6. What should I do if I have a concern about the State's mask order?
A6. Please contact the governor's office at (360) 900-4111.
- End -
Updated March 30th, 2020
Asked Questions: law enforcement
responses to “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” amendment, Washington Governor’s
Q1. What will police do to enforce the governor’s
“Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Proclamation?
A1. Law enforcement’s primary role is to help
educate our citizens about how to comply with the orders to remain at
home. We seek voluntary compliance to
the governor’s proclamation. Enforcement
is an option when compliance is not obtained.
Q2. Are we under some form of ‘martial law?’
A2. No, this is not martial law. Law enforcement agencies are not being tasked
to detain, arrest or cite anyone, or establish roadway checkpoints to inquire
about persons being away from their residence.
Q3. What if I am contacted by police because the
officer believes that I’m not complying with the governor’s proclamation?
A3. When law enforcement officers encounter those
who obviously are not complying with the governor’s orders, the officers will
remind them, as appropriate, of the recommendations and restrictions of the
governor’s proclamation. However,
enforcement is an option when compliance is not obtained.
A4. The Proclamation states that citizens may be
out in public for several essential activity reasons. The main point here is to understand that if
there is not an essential reason to be away from your residence, you are
expected to stay at home to stay healthy.
Essential reasons to be away from home are:
provisions (food / fuel)
health / medical purposes
care for another
exercise such as walking, hiking, running or biking. Appropriate social distancing practices must
always be observed.
no permit or other authorization required to be away from your home for an
Q5. Will police arrest for violations of the “Stay
Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation?
A5. Through education and cooperation, law enforcement
agencies are seeking voluntary public compliance with the governor’s
proclamation. Enforcement is an option
when compliance is not obtained.
enforcement agencies have no desire to make arrests or take anyone to jail for
violations. However, obvious intentional
violations of the governor’s proclamation, outside of essential activity
reasons, may be documented in a complaint report that is submitted to the
Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review / charging.
Q6. When would police make an arrest?
A6. When requested by the Kitsap Public Health
District, law enforcement agencies will investigate allegations of activity
related to violation of the governor’s COVID-19 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy”
proclamation. If officers develop
probable cause that a criminal offense has been committed, the perpetrator(s)
may be subject to arrest and booking into jail.
of arrest the investigating officer could forward the complaint report, with
probable cause certificate, to the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s
Office. The prosecutor’s office will
review the report for criminal charging.
If charged, the violator will be issued a summons to appear in court.
Q7. ______ business is not essential and / or is
violating the governor’s proclamation for operational requirements - please
come shut them down.
governor’s office determines what businesses are essential, you can find that
If you believe that the
business is violating the governor’s proclamation, please see the governor’s
website to complete an online complaint form:
the “report suspected violations” link.
Q8. ______ business/group is violating the
governor’s proclamation for social distancing operational requirements - please
come shut them down.
you believe that the business is violating the
governor’s proclamation, please see the governor’s website to complete an
online complaint form:
Q9. I do _____ type of work. Is this considered an
The governor’s office determines what
businesses are essential, you can find that listing here:
To clarify essential status, or request inclusion on the
list, please fill out
or call the governor’s office at 360-900-4111.
Updated March 26th, 2020
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- In accordance with amendments to Proclamation 20-05 signed by Governor Jay Inslee on March 23, 2020, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office has enacted additional adjustments to its operations to conform to the requirements of the governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, as part of the state-wide response to the COVID-19 emergency.
Effective March 25, 2020, the following changes will take place until further notice:
COVID-19 developments are occurring rapidly. The sheriff continually assesses the agency's role to respond and provide essential public safety services and determine how best to support Kitsap County residents. Further updates will be announced as this emergency progresses.
Please check Kitsap County Sheriff's Internet and social media accounts for updates:
Web site: https://www.kitsapgov.com/sheriff/Pages/default.aspx
Updated March 24, 2020
Message from the Sheriff
the Citizens of Kitsap County:
always believed public safety was a public responsibility. Each of us has a role to ensure our
communities are safe. Law enforcement is
responsible for enforcing law, and citizens are responsible to follow the
law. Community safety requires everyone
to do their part.
Jay Inslee has ordered all non-essential businesses to close temporarily, and
non-essential employees to “Stay Home, Stay Safe.” Staying home is an obligation everyone needs
to follow to combat the impacts of COVID-19. The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office
continues to implement changes by reducing staffing levels, cutting back office
hours, and eliminating non-essential tasks… sending people home to be safe. We
will continue to provide all necessary 911 law enforcement responses.
assist, I ask every citizen of Kitsap County to remain at home and observe the governor’s
order. While it is unlawful to violate
the order, our response will begin with education and requests for voluntary
compliance before law enforcement options are considered. Please be responsive. Stay home, stay safe and do your part to ensure
can make a difference! Compliance means
you may save the life of a friend, family member or yourself. The sooner
everyone does their part, the sooner we can move past these very difficult
times and reduce the impact COVID-19 has on our daily lives.