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MI AG: Local police departments are best to deal with mask violations

Posted at 8:16 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 20:16:06-04

State Attorney General Dana Nessel's department says local police agencies and county prosecutors are still the most appropriate authorities to deal with violations of executive orders.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's latest executive order requires masks to be worn in public indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. The new mandate comes with a $500 fine if the order isn't followed.

This comes after the Macomb County Sheriff's Office said it will not be issuing citations to those not wearing a mask. Instead, deputies will treat reports of customers not wearing masks at businesses as a trespassing complaint.

Additionally, the Lapeer County Sheriff's Office said it will also not be writing tickets to anyone under the governor's executive order.

In a statement, the AG's office said county sheriffs and police chiefs "answer to their constituents, taxpayers and voters."

"We encourage those residents who are upset with the actions of those agencies to express their dissatisfaction with the leadership there."

View the full statement from the AG's office below:

We do not supervise city police chiefs or county sheriffs. They answer to their constituents, taxpayers and voters, and we encourage those residents who are upset with the actions of those agencies to express their dissatisfaction with the leadership there. Police agencies that might be confused over the executive orders may reach out to the Governor and Attorney General’s offices for clarification and guidance, along with county prosecutors. The Governor’s executive orders carry the weight of law. Local police agencies and county prosecutors are still the most appropriate authorities to deal with violations of the executive orders as they are present in the communities they police and deal with complaints about violations of the law each and every day. We trust those professionals to use their authority and discretion in addressing reports of executive order violations.