Updated: October 15, 2020 10:45 PM
Created: October 15, 2020 09:50 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Thursday that the state will utilize various state-run agencies to increase enforcement of the public health order.
"Local law enforcement has not done enough, and that is not to say we haven't had some, very few as you know," Gov. Lujan Grisham said. "Individual citations for not wearing masks and citations for business that are out of compliance. And they've been mostly warnings. And those warnings have gotten operations to stop, and so I appreciate the result."
Deputy Chief Fire Marshal Gene Gallegos said enforcement has been focused on education in Albuquerque.
"We've interacted with over almost going on 4,000, either businesses or individuals," he said. "We've given out around 210 warnings or notices of violation."
The city has given out four citations.
"The whole direction that we go in is compliance. We don't want to give out citations, that's not what we're looking for," he said. "We're looking for compliance. And that's the whole goal is to ask the community to step up and share the responsibility, and do their part."
In addition to numerous verbal warnings, Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputies have given out one citation. BCSO plans to continue with a verbal compliance approach to enforce the mask order.
New Mexico State Police has issued 24 citations since July. However, they're investigating approximately 1,000 complaints.
The governor said the state expects law enforcement to help make sure people follow the public health order.
"We will continue to ask, and put real pressure on law enforcement to do what they're required to do, which is enforce these orders like they would a seatbelt law," the governor said.
According to the governor's spokesperson, the Department of Health issued a cease and desist letter to an Albuquerque-area Speedway that was reportedly operating in violation of the public health order.
"Businesses that continue to violate the public health order and put the health of the community at risk will be met with significant fines or legal penalties," said Nora Meyers Sackett, spokesperson for Gov. Lujan Grisham.
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