Snohomish County Sheriff addresses controversy following Facebook post

Wednesday, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney answered questions about a Facebook post he wrote which, among other questions and concerns focused on the governor's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, said he is not carrying out enforcement of the “stay-at-home” order.

“I am not about, as the Snohomish County Sheriff, to start arresting residents for violating the stay-at-home order, when we are releasing criminals in mass from the prison system,” said Sheriff Adam Fortney.

Fortney referenced suggestions from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs on how to handle the "stay-at-home" order. In the WASPC release, it says, “enforcement means engagement and education.”

“I’m not calling for open defiance. What I’m calling for is I want people to be treated equally by the government,” he said.

Instead of the enforcement comment in his post, Fortney says he wanted the focus to be questioning certain decisions the governor has made during this pandemic.

“I’m looking for leadership from the governor. When I say leadership, not just for people he thinks who should be able to go out and make a living wage. I think it should be fair and across the board,” said Fortney.

He says he would like to see local government start the conversations now on plans to get people back to work, instead of waiting weeks for the “stay-at-home” order to be lifted.

Governor Jay Inslee discussed Sheriff Fortney’s post during his press conference.

“People do need to understand that there is possible criminal law enforcement in the event that people still won’t get on the team, and that could be Bob Ferguson in the AG {Attorney General}, through the state patrol, or other local law enforcement, but it should not come to that. This is a team effort, of a team that is doing great work, and we should not get that derailed by anybody’s statements,” said Inslee.