Michigan Gov. Whitmer orders state police to enforce COVID executive orders

Until now, local law enforcement has largely been responsible for enforcing Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders, such as requirements for individuals to wear masks indoors, maintain social distance and the continued closure of gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, concert venues and others in most parts of the state, but enforcement has varied. (Shutterstock photo)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is beefing up her coronavirus executive orders, requiring Michigan State Police to enforce them like any other law and ordering possible license revocations for violators.

Whitmer’s Tuesday executive directive comes as new coronavirus cases continued to climb since rules were relaxed in mid-June. As of Monday, the state had more than 83,000 confirmed cases, nearly 9,000 probable ones and more than 6,400 deaths. 

Whitmer’s order also requires elevated enforcement in places where coronavirus transmissions are well documented, such as nursing homes, migrant farmworker housing, and meat processing plants. 

“Ensuring these executive orders are enforced across the state will protect Michigan families, small businesses, and the first responders on the front lines of this crisis,” Whitmer said in a news release. “By allocating the appropriate and needed resources, we can continue to save lives and ensure we don’t have to move backward.”

Until now, local law enforcement has largely been responsible for enforcing Whitmer’s executive orders, such as requirements for individuals to wear masks indoors, maintain social distance and the continued closure of gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, concert venues and others in most parts of the state.

Enforcement has varied. Detroit has issued $1,000 fines to more than 2,600 people, while many county sheriffs have said they’re not willing to issue citations over the orders. 

Whitmer’s latest directive doesn’t apply to local and county law enforcement agencies as it’s only binding on state agencies. Shanon Banner, spokesperson for the Michigan State Police, told Bridge the directive won’t change much. 

“This directive supports and confirms the enforcement posture we have used since the beginning of the pandemic,” she wrote in an email to Bridge. “Our troopers will continue to enforce all of the executive orders.”

However, data on the number of citations, fines or arrests MSP have issued related to executive order violations aren’t readily available, Banner said. 

Tiffany Brown, spokesperson for Whitmer, said in an email to Bridge that the governor's office thanks "the State Police and all law enforcement who have shown a commitment to enforcing the executive orders – and hope that law enforcement officers across the state will follow their lead."

But the state police aren’t the only state agency with widespread power over enforcement: Many other state departments are responsible for licensing and regulating businesses and permits. 

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issues licenses and permits for hundreds of industries and professions from nursing to restaurants to auto mechanics. A spokesperson for LARA could not immediately be reached for comment on how the directive may affect licensees.

Businesses can already lose their licenses for breaking the orders, but Whitmer’s Tuesday directive requires agencies to consider it. In the past, it’s been rare for a license to be pulled over a coronavirus-related issue — one prominent example is when the state suspended the license of an Owosso barber whose flouting of closures on salons made national headlines.

The order came the same day as the Court of Appeals considered an ongoing lawsuit from Republican leaders in the state Legislature over Whitmer’s continuation of a state of emergency without their approval. A lower court sided with Whitmer.

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Big Gretch in Charge
Tue, 08/04/2020 - 3:58pm

Good! She's a "LAW and ORDER" governor!

Lise C.
Thu, 08/06/2020 - 4:22pm

Allow all school aged children to have vouchers. More than passed time to give parents and caregivers the freedom of choice to place their children in the schools (online, in-person, a hybrid) they feel will best serve their children.

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 4:44pm

What do vouchers have to do with anything?

Chuck D.
Tue, 08/04/2020 - 6:46pm

Sorry, "governor" - Sherriff is still the highest ranking law enforcement member in each county and state police have no choice but to defer to sheriff. I've spoken to several state troopers directly and they will not be enforcing this "order" - They have much more important things to do, such as responding to the large uptick in drug crimes, violent crimes and overdoses that have resulted from this shutdown. I've overheard state troopers openly mocking this tyrant "governor" and that is only going to get worse - She just doesn't get it. We're over her. She's done. Her State Science has lost to REAL science.

Jack Johnson
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 10:30am

When the sheriffs aren't bright enough to do their jobs, then it's only fitting to have professional peace officers do it for them.

Chuck D.
Thu, 08/06/2020 - 1:01pm

Sorry, check your facts - Sheriff is the highest power. And they are doing their jobs - Protecting us from this hoax.

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:59pm

He's actually correct, the sheriff is the highest power in a county, above state and federal. This is why we have so many business who are able to survive by flouting frau whitmer's tyrannical edicts.

I call BS
Mon, 08/10/2020 - 4:46pm

Please cite a law.

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:22pm

Chuck D. or Chuck E. Cheese? I smell a rat. So would you say mayors or county executives rank higher than governors? If local is better, do governors trump Trump? What is the governor's role, given Trump deferred all responsibility to them?

middle of the mit
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 8:16pm

LOL!! I am with you wholeheartedly!!

But you do know that their "Government that governs closest governs best" is just a line of crap, don't ya? I am sure you do, now I am going to show them why they are full of it!!!




As governor, Abbott has found a new enemy -- local governments -- and, in recent days, he's raised the stakes in that war. Texas has a reputation for blocking local laws that contradict its ..




This one is tooo funny!

It all just makes me sick to my stomach that they are allowed to appropriate this on the media and the media allows them to do so!
The ONLY government that conservatives agree with is one they are allowed to control and then, them and the media somehow allow us to take up their talking points as fact...........even when someone like me can show All of them they are full of nothing but themselves and whatever brings them more mammon and power!

It's all disgusting!

True American
Sun, 08/09/2020 - 2:21am

Could not have said it better

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:24pm


Tue, 08/11/2020 - 7:50pm

You will always be able to find a bad apple. This does not represent all sheriffs. Not even close.

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 8:28pm

She lost it! I'm voting Republican. She just wants to limit personal freedoms. Whats next a goggle mandate? NO NEW NORMAL. THIS IS EVIL!

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 10:46am

For heaven's sake , it just a mask. It is not a straight jacket, an arrest ,or a jail. How is your "freedom" being impinged upon? I assume you wear shoes and clothing when you go out. Adding a mask is NOT a huge deal.

Look at the numbers and think logically. We have from 600 to 700 NEW cases a DAY. IF we get a vaccine by the end of the year, that is about 150 days. Do the math ---105,000 MORE new cases on top of what we already have ONLY if the cases don't go up and people start to take this seriously! Do you feel lucky? Want to play the odds? I sure don't. My right to stay healthy trumps anyone's mysterious "right" to spread COVID to other people. Here is the choice: a mask or a ventilator and death. That should be a logical and easy choice to make.

EVERY country in the world which is out of lockdown had a NATIONAL mask mandate. By ignoring the pandemic the US govt has allowed over 156,000 people to die. Why the federal gov't will NOT protect its citizens and wants them them to die is baffling. Thank GOD Michigan is blessed with a rational, fact-based, data-driven governor.

Mourning in America
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:42pm

As of right now, over 161,120 people have died from coronavirus in the US. You are off by over 5,000 people.

Isn't it amazing that we are getting close to 200,000 when we were told this is just seasonal flu, a hoax, that it would just disappear? We are umb to the numbers as they reach astronomical heights. Just imagine all those dead people on Trump's watch! One day we will have to build a memorial wall like the Viet Nam Wall to remember all these poor Americans who literally died in vain because of Trump's poor leadership.

US death toll climbs as Trump claims coronavirus under control! See the link:

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 11:47am

As far as I’m aware, counting things like falling off a ladder or drinking yourself to death aren’t typically counted as having died from a flu like disease. This is no more dangerous than a bad seasonal flu to most people. The average age of people who die of this is generally over the average life expectancy in the US. The amount of lives that will end prematurely as a consequence of these insane lockdowns will be orders of magnitude worse than those who die WITH or OF Covid.

I call BS
Mon, 08/10/2020 - 4:51pm

Please show evidence of this BS.

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 5:14pm

"My right to stay healthy trumps anyone's mysterious "right" to spread COVID to other people." Fallacious statement. If you had a "right" to health, you would have never gotten sick from anything spread by anyone in your life. You do have a right, however, to live in unbridled fear and to support the totalitarian mandates that violate not only our natural rights (these actually exist) and our listed State and Federal constitutional rights as listed in those bedrocks of our law.

Science and facts show that masks, especially these 'face coverings' do nothing to stop COVID, and in fact, may aid the spread of the virus, just as 'locking down' did nothing other than delay the spread when people came outdoors. If it were as contagious and devestating as is being portrayed by the governor, she would not allow gatherings of 250 people. Even outdoors.

Iron Man
Mon, 08/10/2020 - 8:11pm

Because, idiot, it won't END there. It's always incremental, and there's always more to come. Have any of these "LAWS" been passed by the statehouse in accordance with established law?
No, they're edicts from a guv that is happy to overstep her authority.
They won't stop until WE, The People, stop them.
You are being lied to in terms of how communicable this virus is, and that your cotton mask is effective in filtering out something as small as a virus - it's not.
Don't take my word for it, but don't take the word of the professional liars in the mainstream media - they don't report news, they obey their masters.

Fess Up
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:27pm

U KNOW ME, yes, we know you. You have never voted for a Democrat in your life. BTW I will probably wear goggles to protect myself. The mask protects both the user and others.

Just sayin'
Tue, 08/04/2020 - 9:11pm

These state police should start by arresting the local sheriffs that won't do their jobs.

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 11:59am

You must be a joker in the court of Demos.........

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 9:42am

The positive test numbers are not accurate and never have been and they aren't looking at the death rates now because they are extremely low so it won't work for their agenda unless they install fear through the phony test results. This entire thing is agenda driven, not science driven. Masks have been proven to be of no use whatsoever, that is a scientifically proven fact and most people are waking up to it including law enforcement. Trump said in the beginning that the pandemic was a hoax and got ridiculed for that but he was right and he was also right about hydroxychloroquine . The CDC's own death numbers are around 1/4th of a percent for death rates and those are actually high due to the false reporting. Of course our governor, being a Trump hater, had to ban the use of hydroxychloroquine, which, along with pushing covid positive folks into nursing homes with non-positive folks, caused thousands more deaths. She along with other dem governors that made similar moves will be held accountable one way or another, you can bet on that!

middle of the mit
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 11:46am

Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes.

If your reporting is what it you say it is, there is a whole bunch of false statements in that comment. Or do you consider those misleading and there is no policy against misleading statements?

Let's see how far a Democrat can push Republican statements, shall we?


The Houston-based doctor behind a viral video on the controversial hydroxychloroquine drug — which was then shared by President Donald Trump — was sued in January for medical malpractice


So, you shouldn't get vaccines because they are made with Alien DNA, no, not illegal aliens, Extraterrestrial aliens. Specifically reptilians.


If you have ovarian cysts or endometreosis you are having sex with demons in your dreams and you should do something about those sexual dreams you are having. Don't go to a doctor, they know nothing of this and they can't help you.

These are all reasonable positions to hold. And they may not be proven, but who needs scientific proof of anything? Masks don't work even when health professionals say they do. So those that use them for work to not breath toxic fumes or particles should no longer need to waste money or feel uncomfortable while working. They are unneccesary. So what if your lungs are filled with fiberglass particles or toxic smoke. Those masks don't filter that stuff anyway and it's not like it will kill you or anything.

Thank you for listening to a self identified health professional!

middle of the mit
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 7:35pm

I understand, but I can see what they are doing. Conservatives already come here complaining about how they are "discriminated against". Yeah cons! I am going to use that language. Isn't that how you "feel"? Imagine if people judged you by the color of your skin and not the content of your comments?

I would LOVE to do a commentary piece about how much social media coddles conservatives. I just wish I could do it in the manner of the people who wrote the Federalist papers. You know, under a false name! Like, I don't know......middle of the mit?

What a hypocrite I am!! I don't want to put my name out there for everyone to see and stand behind my opinion? NO! I don't. Why didn't the authors of the Federalist papers? And two, I don't want the attention. I just want to tell a true story about how conservatives are so full of themselves and why social media allows them to lie. I still don't know why............the best I can come up with is.............

I have a lot of proof of what I say is what is being said and done?

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:34pm

Mike, you sound like a fun guy. Just wondering, if everything you say is right and I won't say it's wrong because that would probably trigger you, why are the Republican governors failing so badly? Why aren't they following your advice and disproving Whitmer's approach? Who orchestrated the worldwide pandemic and why is the US overall doing so poorly? How does any of your post make sense now?

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 10:20am

DNR conservation officers have been totally ignoring enforcement of her orders and I doubt that the state police will be any different aside from a few oddballs.

I call BS
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:55pm

Why aren't you guys protesting at the capitol anymore? Makes us wonder who the "oddballs" are.

Sun, 08/09/2020 - 4:08am

If you are calling BS, then please list all the enforcement actions the DNR has issued on C19 order violations, which I see every day where I live yet are going unpunished. Also, list the State Police arrests too. I doubt there have been many despite the fact that most people I know have broken C19 laws from time to time. Have you been wearing your mask every time you pass by someone less than six feet away, if not then you are a law breaker.

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 5:37pm

I Japan, we call talk like yours: wind in the trees.

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 11:07am

Funny how the cases have gone up after she "strengthened" her face mask policy on the last exec order. What does that tell you? Either face masks must not make a difference, OR, the public has voted on her empirical rule and decided she has overstepped. Make all the orders you want gretchen, you can't arrest an entire state. The people will decide whether her highness likes it or not.

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:47pm

We the People decided We like her highness when We elected her. You are just bitter because you are wrong. No court has stopped her and we know the courts are stacked with Republicans. So calm down and wear your mask, with all the cameras around no police will risk not enforcing the governor's orders and be publicly shamed.

Jim C
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 5:01pm

So what do you think they are doing differently in Europe to have the success they have?

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 8:51am

Funny how even though cases have gone up after she strengthened her face mask policy, we still have significantly lower cases than states without a mask policy. How do Florida and Georgia's numbers look right now?

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 1:22pm

When will they begin announcing deaths per million, since that's how they announce cases? Pretty much been averaging 1 or fewer deaths/million for a long time in Michigan, and that number is NOT rising.

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:48pm

The deaths come after the infections, not simultaneously.

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 2:48pm

Another executive order, this time to require enforcement of all her other executive orders.

Guess which state has issued the most executive orders during this pandemic? It’s not even close. At 132 (as of the end of June), Governor Whitmer has issued **more than double the number of executive orders than nearly every other state** except Colorado, which comes in second at 115. After that, the third-highest state drops to 78. (Source: Ballotopedia.org)

This is what happens when we have an overreach of inept authority with no legislative checks or balances. The fact that Governor Whitmer now feels she has to churn out yet more executive orders to enforce her earlier executive orders ought to be a clue that maybe, just maybe, this woman has absolutely no idea what she’s doing.

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 3:53pm

Thank God! Great job, Gretchen!

middle of the mit
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 6:57pm

This is what happens when you have a legislature that is willing to allow ALL the chips to fall where they may. I used to be a Republican a loooong time ago. That brand is so far away from where it used to be it is unfathomable. Look up what Ike ran his platform on. And you have moved farther to right every decade, and here you are. You think the left has moved, but they aren't unfriendly to the corporate powers that be.

If Governor Gretchen doesn't know what she is doing..............at least she is trying to do something. What is President Trump doing? Putting it all on the Governors because he isn't willing to lead at all.

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 2:58pm

It’s a temper tantrum. Our governor through a temper tantrum.

Oakland County Mom
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 4:03pm

So are you saying we should or shouldn't reopen the schools?

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 5:41pm

Yes, Hank, the governor issued executive orders right through your temper tantrum that you threw.

True American
Sun, 08/09/2020 - 2:17am

Michigan law makers need to get to work fixing the overzealous governor power grab

Sun, 08/09/2020 - 12:19pm

it's time to remove her from office little petty dictator

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 5:43pm

Elevator to VP! Pretty effective executive!

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 8:48pm

I cannot wait to vote this controlling Karen b i t c h out of office.
Want to wear a mask? WEAR ONE.
Don't want to wear a mask? DON'T.
You ridiculous sex toys that want to force people to wear masks can all bob on the flesh flavored trailer hitch.
Do I wear a mask? Yes. But I'm not going to believe that I have power over other FREE people out there, to make them do things they don't want to do, like you damn communist control freaks.

middle of the mit
Tue, 08/11/2020 - 8:12pm

If you would like to know where the "family values" people have their minds............It's on display!

That is fit for a family newspaper........isn't it?

The real question is.....why does this person feel the need to wear a mask, while defending others rights to infect them? Oh I get it when it comes to speech..................but.......... sticks and stones will break my bones, but your words will never hurt me, UNLESS......your words are confusing people and making them conflicted and questioning those they would normally listen to.

What happens is on you conservatives. These are your people. Please deal with them.

StretchedOut Bi...
Thu, 10/15/2020 - 6:19pm

She broke the law with illegal executive actions, but far worse for her future in civil court will be her violations of the State Constitution because that is one of the very few offenses that she has no legal protection/immunity from as the elected Governor.

Any police officer that issued a citation, detained anyone for any amount of time, or arrested anyone is now personally responsible as well because they broke the law every single time. This is the problem when a government is filled with garbage corporate puppets who lack the IQ and work ethic needed to avoid failing the Bar Exam not once, but TWICE

StetchedOut Bitchmer will eventually face federal indictments to speed up all other litigation