MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday requiring the use of face coverings in public starting Friday, July 3.
Everyone in the city limits of Mobile or within the Police Jurisdiction will be required to wear a face-covering in public.
“There’s genuine concern that this is an opportunity, we know that maybe we’ve offended people in doing this. But at the end of the 30 days, we’ll both know whether it was the right thing to do. Some people will say ‘we told you so,’ I’m not going to tell anybody we told you so, because at the end of the day, what we want is to make sure that our businesses stay open and our citizens stay healthy. So let’s work together to make this happen.”Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson
The city has said their goal is not to write tickets for people who aren’t wearing a mask, instead, their goal is to educate and encourage the use of masks.
To help, the city is making masks available to any citizen who needs one.
The city already has 14,000 available to pick up from any of the police precincts or Mobile Police Headquarters on Government Street. There will be one mask per person limit, and you can pick up during normal business hours. Precincts and MPD headquarters will be closed Friday, July 3rd, for the Fourth of July holiday.
Mobile police will be enforcing the ordinance, which carries a fine of $50 for the first offense and $100 for each subsequent offense. Police will be mostly handing out masks and advising people to social distance to those in violation of the ordinance.
“The citation or the punitive aspects of the ordinance would only be a very last resort for us and that would be open defiance.Public Safety Director James Barber
“I can assure you that our efforts are going to be to help our citizens comply with this order. As I said at the very beginning, we’d much rather see our officers handing out face masks than we would citations,” said Mayor Stimpson.
Mayor Stimpson says they also have an 10,000 additional masks on order, that should be available by the end of the week.
Mobile police says as quickly as they get the masks into headquarters, they are being sent to the patrol officers.
“Our role as law enforcement officers during the COVID-19 public health emergency is to help protect the health and safety of our residents by encouraging them to wear masks and maintain social distancing. For those individuals seen without a mask, the officer will provide one for them to wear. Issuing a citation would be our last resort. However, the person who is entirely defiant will be issued a citation.”Mobile Police
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