CLINTON — In a statement issued from his office Monday morning, Van Buren County Sheriff Lucas Emberton has announced his office’s plan in contending with the mask mandate issued by Gov. Asa Hutchinson Thursday afternoon.

The order specifically states that calls to 911 for violations of the mask mandate are not to be made. The order also reminds that the sheriff office continues its support of local businesses, including its willingness to remove customers who do not “follow their store rules.”

From the statement:

“First, I would like to thank all the residents of Van Buren County for the outstanding job that you are doing in curtailing this COVID-19 virus. Our numbers continue to stay low on active cases. Good Job continue to do as you are as it is working!

In response to numerous phone calls from the citizens regarding Governor Hutchinson’s executive order mandating face coverings in public, I am issuing this statement from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office:

For the purpose of clarification:

911 for emergencies only.

Reporting mask violations DOES NOT fall into this category and we ask that you not use 911 to report any violations of the Governor’s executive order.

Private businesses have always had the ability to make, or not make, rules in their privately owned businesses, and ask for the assistance of law enforcement to remove patrons who don’t follow their store rules. This has not changed, and neither has our willingness to assist them if they call for help with an emergency issue.

I have full trust that the residents and business owners of our great county will continue to use common sense and good judgment to be safe.

The men and women of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, and myself, will continue to base agency decisions on what is in the best interest of our community.”

The governor’s proclamation may be viewed at https//governor.arkansas.gov/ images/uploads/executive Orders/EO_20-43.pdf

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