Many Ky police agencies won’t respond to most ‘no mask’ calls

Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 10:57 PM EDT
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As people are asked to wear masks...the question becomes what happens when they don’t?

Governor Beshear said in his latest briefing that the health departments would be enforcing the mandate, but health officials we spoke with say customers won’t be given citations.

“We’re not the mask police, we’re not going out citing individuals. If I see you on the sidewalk, I’m not whipping out a notepad writing you a ticket,” said Kevin Hall with the Lexington Fayette County Health Department.

Many police agencies in Central Kentucky have said they won’t respond to simply complaints of people not wearing masks. But if that becomes a disturbance...that’s another issue.

“If they were refused service, and the people refused to leave, they caused some kind of disturbance, or got threatened with management or personnel, we would respond to handle that type of thing, " said Glen Doan, the Assistant Chief with the Danville Police Department.

Doan also says they did receive one complaint this weekend but it was of a caller seeing someone else not wearing a mask and police did not respond to that.

“Just say for example someone in a retail store called, and said, sir, ‘someone is in here and they’re not wearing a mask.’ We would not send an officer to that kind of call,” said Doan.

Other police agencies we spoke with say it’s too early to tabulate the call volume. Health officials say if businesses don’t comply they could face citations and fines. Some businesses have posted signs saying they have the right to call police if there’s a problem.

“And that’s those businesses’ and corporations’ recourse, if they mandate wearing one and if someone refused, then they can refuse service.Then if a problem arose from that, then we would get involved because we would see certain crimes like trespassing.”

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