Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin explains Montana sheriff's op-ed

Posted at 11:56 AM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 13:56:02-04

Late last week, the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association released an editorial opinion in response to Governor Bullock’s Directive requiring face coverings in certain indoor spaces.

In the written statement, numerous sheriffs from across the Treasure State said the directive is not a mandate for law enforcement to issue citations or to arrest violators.

Sheriff Gootkin helped draft the editorial and says not issuing citations doesn’t mean law enforcement isn’t enforcing the directive — rather, their main job is to educate the public.

“If you ever got pulled over for speeding and somebody gave you a warning, we’re still enforcing the speed law," Sheriff Gootkin explained.

"So if we have a complaint about masks in a business or someplace else, and we go and visit with those folks, we’re enforcing the law, we're just not writing citations or taking people to jail,” he added. “So I wanted to make sure people understood the difference.”

Sheriffs from Gallatin, Madison, Beaverhead, Butte-Silverbow, Broadwater, and Park County are among the sheriffs who signed the editorial.

You can read that editorial here: