Gov. Ivey recognizes Spanish Fort PD for handling of mask mandate

Baldwin County

SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — Spanish Fort Police Chief John Barber is finding ways to educate the community rather than writing citations for mask violations.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten out of the vehicle, walked a few steps and remember very quickly I need to go grab my mask,” he said.

Earlier this month we reported Spanish Fort Police were handing out masks rather than writing tickets. Since then, Governor Kay Ivey has recognized Chief Barber for his efforts.

“Of course we appreciate the recognition, but I think it’s more of a balanced approach to enforcing the law, but doing so in a way that is acceptable to the community and that’s a balancing act,” Chief Barber said.

Just this week a concerned resident called police after seeing people in a gas station without masks.

“She had to understand that while they were sitting there eating food from the gas station they could actually be without a mask,” he said.

Again, Chief Barber is taking a different approach to situations and hoping everyone can learn together. He tells WKRG News 5 this is an odd time for a lot of people and out of habit not everyone will remember to wear a mask each time they’re in public. That’s why his officers have handed out dozens of masks over the last couple of weeks whenever they spot someone who needs a face covering.

“I think that’s the main thing here. How do we continue together as law enforcement and citizens in the community working together as opposed to working against each other,” he added.

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