Teton Cty Wyoming Had Website for Reporting Mask Violations
Did you want to report your neighbors for not following COVID Mandates? Wyoming's Teton County had set up a website to take the pressure off of the calls coming into the local police department.
The idea was to get people to stop calling police dispatch when they saw a mask violation and have them report to the website instead. In other words, people who wanted to complain could have a place where they could complain without tying up the lines at the police department.
But it didn't last long. The site now reads that they are no longer accepting responses.
According to Cowboy State Daily, The sheriff of Teton County, however, said there is no enforcement behind it and it was built to alleviate the high numbers of phone calls for and against the mask mandate that come into county dispatch.
In the video below you'll see Teton County Commissioners Greg Epstein and Mark Barron claim that the website was built without their knowledge on the county’s COVID site.
Mr. Epstein called out those who were responsible, saying, “I have a lot of problems with this. I think it’s a complete overreach of our government,”
County Commissioner Barron was concerned about the source of the web page, "And I am curious where this came from and how this came to be I did not see this in the order.”
Apparently this came about because there were people in Teton county who wanted to report others who were not complying with the mask mandate. Not knowing who to call they called The Teton County Sheriff's department.
The Teton County Sheriff was asked to join the meeting. He expressed his gratitude to the health department for putting the web page up saying that dispatch did not need to be getting all of these calls about someone not wearing a mask in public. Enforcement would not happen unless there were enough complaints that one business establishment was not following the mandate.
There was an article in the Jackson Hole News & Guide pointing residents to the webpage and encouraging them to report individuals.
Keith Gingery, Chief Deputy Attorney for Teton County, explained that is why the webpage was created.
Commissioner Epstein was not happy with this explanation and did not think it was good for the community. “I still feel like this is creating an environment of mistrust within our community, more divnisioning, more factioning,” he said. “We’re pitting people against law enforcement unnecessarily and I’m worried.”
Commissioner Barron, spoke with Cowboy State Daily explaining,
“I know there is no law enforcement with this and I’m fine with that,” Barron said. “If people feel like they have an ear when they email in, if public health has time to do this, then I’m fine with that."
“But the expectation that a police officer or a deputy sheriff is going to show up, people have to let that go. It’s not going to happen,” he said.