As I review the comments and opinions regarding this informational release from the Sheriff and I, I would like to address a few issues.
Please understand we respect everyone's right to their own opinion and right to voice it. We would like to remind everyone this is a public post intended to serve everyone in our community to help establish clarity to misinformation we were made aware of circulating amongst our citizens. That misinformation was in relation to the Governor's Executive Order, and the ability of private businesses to establish requirements. The information we released was very clear and direct and requires no further question, however we offered to answer any questions that our community we serve may have. If you have questions we may answer after reading this post, please reach out to us, even privately if you wish.
We also ask that comments be kept professional in nature, if you wish to verbally engage someone personally do it privately. We as a community are required to face the issues Covid -19 has brought us. A community united to accomplish a common goal is so very much stronger than one divided. Regardless of difference of opinion or belief, this strain of the coronavirus is very real, and very present in our community, and is spreading at a high rate. The ability to disagree and continue to forge towards a common goal is unique, and that ability is also present in our community, it just has to be willingly enacted. We ask everyone to join our efforts so the return to our new normal can happen as quickly as possibly without further delay.
Private companies have the right to establish and enact regulations regarding their property. If a private business chooses to do so, understand these regulations are not new laws. We do not enforce private rules and regulations, we enforce laws and ordnances established by our governing bodies whether it be Federal, State, or Local. In no way will our local governing bodies enact orders or ordinances violate the Governor's Executive Orders. If you would like to follow the Governor's Executive Orders, go to gov.georgia.gov to look for 2020 executive orders.
Allow me to be very clear, There will be absolutely no toleration for uncontrollable irate, aggressive, or abusive behavior, toward any of our private business owners, their staff, or their patrons. If established laws are broken due to a difference of opinion or other actions, we will respond immediately and act accordingly to ensure that protection of the public and their property is maintained, regardless if the event happens on public or private property.
Once again, we will not be present on private property to force anyone to wear a face mask, however our presence to maintain law and order will be evident if the need arises. Remember, this does not apply to the food service industry. The Georgia Department of Public Heath's Order is still in place, and requires food service staff interacting with patrons to PROPERLY wear face mask or face coverings. This, along with the other food service regulations, will be enforced without fail, if the Governor's Executive Order is violated.
Lastly, we are here to serve you as the public, please reach out to us if we can be of assistance, in any way. We would much rather chose the path of proactivness rather than be forced down the path of reactiveness. Please continue to pray for us and the entire EID Task Force that continues to meet weekly, as we make decisions that effect our community as a whole, please pray for our healthcare workers they are exhausted, but continue to work to help control this virus and protect and care for us in this community. Please pray for our Emergency Services, and everyone that continues to provide the services we so easily take for granted, and please continue to support our local businesses.
Brandon Fletcher, Director
Ben Hill County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security