West Boylston Police Chief, Dennis Minnich sent an email to the Director of the Department of Public Health in Worcester stating that his police force will not be enforcing the business restrictions brought on by Governor Baker. Minnich says those restrictions for small businesses are unconstitutional and illegal. Furthermore, he says that the force will however enforce trespassing laws as those are on the books and if the local health officials try and show up to the small businesses in his town to shut them down or try and enforce certain "restrictions", those public health officials or inspectors will be asked to leave immediately and if they refuse, they will be arrested as trespassing is an offense they are allowed to arrest over after notice.
The email by Chief Dennis Minnich to Karen E. Clark, the Director of the Worcester DPH says:
Karyn, I hope that all is well with you. I am alerting all of our businesses today that this ‘shut down’ is unconstitutional and illegal and that the PD will not enforce any actions by the B of H and furthermore that they should advise the ‘agents’ of the B of H to leave the premises immediately.
“The WBPD will most certainly follow trespassing policies which are to arrest trespasses after notice. Please advise your personnel so as to avoid any issues.
“These so called ‘Orders’ by the Governor are not valid nor (constitutional) and will not be enforced. Respectfully, Dennis Minnich, Chief.”
After this email went out and Chief Minnich has been informing local businesses in his town that they will not be enforcing these state restrictions, a doctor on West Boylston's Board of Health, Dr. John Sullivan, is calling on the town's selectman take action and remove the Chief from his position. The Worcester Telegram reports that Sullivan wrote a letter to the Town Adminstrator Nancy Lucier, saying: "I am absolutely incensed by this email and believe that Mr. Minnich should be dismissed from the West Boylston police Department. I find this email unfathomable for a police chief leader in a community trying to manage its way through a life threatening epidemic."
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What do you make of this decision or declaration by West Boylston's Police Chief? I personally like that he's standing up for what he believes is the lawful course of action here. He is following the constitution and upholding the law as he knows it. I have his back. Not for anything if a small business thinks it's risky to open and does not want to do so or wants to implement certain guidelines by following the Governor's orders, they can do so. They have the right to decide how they want to operate their business. What do you think?
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