MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The statewide mask mandate has been in effect for nearly a month now and yet Mobile Police officers are still not wearing theirs. Today, we asked why?
Viewers have commented on numberous Facebook lives and posts about officers not wearing masks on the scenes of crimes or just out in the community. We sat down with Mobile Police chief Lawrence Battiste to ask why this has been happening. He said he wasn’t aware of anyone repeatedly not wearing theirs, but isn’t taking this lightly. “How can you enforce a rule that you are breaking. We are going to hold our officers to the same standard that we have asked everyone in the community, and if they continue to violate the policies of the department then we will address that.”
Chief Battiste says masks should always be worn, but he did point out there are certain circumstance where things can be leinent. “There are times though when officers have to get out of their cars in an emergency situation and the last thing they are thinking about is a mask and so we don’t want to be overly punitive. He is more concerned about making sure everyone is okay instead of dawning a mask immediately.” Battiste said.
He concluded with saying he wants his officers to set a precedent for the city, but also that they are human beings and have the ability just like we do to forget their masks. “We are supposed to be leading by example, but we have taken the approach that we haven’t written any tickets not wearing them and we have asked for voluntary compliance. Just as we have given latitude to the community to comply then I think that our officers are entitled to the same latitude.”
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