LETTER: Sheriff’s authority

Sheriff Bill Benedict has stated he doesn’t have the statutory authority to enforce the health rules issued by Dr. Berry, our public health officer.

RCW 43.20.050 and WAC 246-100-070 make it clear that he not only has that authority but also the obligation to enforce or face a conviction and fine.

He has chosen to use his discretion to not enforce the law.

What does that discretion mean in the context of a very real threat to the public by those scofflaws who refuse to abide by the rules?

Would he use discretion in apprehending someone who grievously wounds another?

People don’t get infected by magic or bad luck.

They are infected by others who don’t care about the consequences of their behavior upon the community. Someone who is immunocompromised, with a co-morbidity or just of an advanced age could, in effect, be grievously wounded by someone not vaccinated.

I want accountable public servants who understand that a health emergency means supporting the rules meant to protect the community and not pandering to some political memes about freedom, tyranny or some other conspiratorial nonsense.

From county commissioners on down to city councils, we need rational, disciplined and knowledgeable people to take care of business.

If you’re running for office or are an incumbent, I don’t want to hear your theories about what is and isn’t constitutional.

I want you to honor that oath to support and defend the Constitution as it is written.

Saints preserve us.

Brian Grad