Chemung Sheriff on Thanksgiving Limit Enforcement: “It’s just not going to happen”


In response to numerous inquiries about whether the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office will enforce Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandated 10-person limit at Thanksgiving gatherings in private residences, Sheriff William A. Schrum said the answer is no.

The governor’s Executive Order, which purports to ban residential gatherings of more than 10 people, does not
establish anything for local law enforcement to enforce criminally, said Schrum in a news release. The state Legislature defines criminal conduct, not the governor, he said.

“As your elected sheriff, I will not ask the men and women of this agency to enforce an Executive Order that raises serious Constitutional questions. Citizens have a right to privacy within their homes as well as the protection from warrantless searches. Regardless of this Executive Order, the Sheriff’s Office, like most law enforcement agencies, have limited resources to dedicate to such an Order to go door-to-door to ensure compliance. Simply put, it’s just not going to happen,” added Schrum.

“The Sheriff’s Office is not encouraging people to have large gatherings in their homes, but would ask that you weigh the risk factors, protect the vulnerable, and enjoy your families and your great gathering traditions only in ways that are safe, until we can get back to normal.

“Please continue to practice mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent sanitizing. Each of us knows
the risks associated with this pandemic and must continue to work together to reduce these risks.
If you choose to host a family/holiday gathering, please do so safely and responsibly,” said Schrum.

Simply put, it’s just not going to happen — Sheriff William A. Schrum