State Police issues 1 citation so far for mask noncompliance | KOB 4

State Police issues 1 citation so far for mask noncompliance

Brittany Costello
Created: July 06, 2020 10:11 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced last week that people can be cited if they don’t wear a mask, but the question of how that will be enforced still remains.

A State Police spokesperson said they handed out one citation the entire holiday weekend. On Sunday, they ticketed the ACE Hardware in Portales.

Officials said they were cited because the customers inside were not wearing masks. Since July 3., ACE Hardware received 81 mask violation complaints.

Whether they’re forgotten at home or uncomfortable to wear, there are still people out in public who don’t wear masks.

“I’ve had elderly people at the store ask me very politely or maybe not very politely, but at least ask me to put my mask on in their presence and I respect that,” said Joseph Banuelos, a resident.

Many others are seen wearing them, but in ways that don’t offer much protections like around their necks, below their noses or hanging on their ears.

“If I’m by myself, I won’t wear it. I carry it. But if I’m going to be around people, like I said, the asymptomatic, they don’t get sick but they’re carriers,” said Gerard Rothes, a resident.

Now there's even more of a reason to keep one handy—to avoid a $100 fine from State Police.

“It’s like my background.  I’m a teacher, and if I give out rules and I see people breaking the rules and I don’t reinforce the rules then everyone is going to look at the rules and say it’s not real,” said resident Derek Ford. “They look at how it’s reinforced, so I think that’s a good thing.”

That public health order requires those masks be worn in any public space.

KOB 4 reached out to State Police to see how they would juggle mask enforcement with other daily duties.

A spokesperson sent KOB 4 a statement that read, "New Mexico State Police is committed to the safety, health and well being of all New Mexicans and will follow the same protocols we always use in prioritizing calls for service."

There will not be a specific group of officers dedicated to these efforts, but they will respond and investigate those calls for non-compliance.

To report business violation, click here

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