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Law enforcement official says there will be “learning curve” in enforcing new mask requirements

Rain Rabbit

Michigan police say enforcement of Governor Whitmer’s new executive order requiring masks to be worn in public spaces will give residents the “benefit of the doubt.”

The Governor’s order requires residents to wear masks in public indoor spaces - and in outdoor spaces when it isn’t possible to maintain six feet of distance.

Willfully violating the order is a misdemeanor offense.

Robert Stevenson is the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. He said police won’t just be slapping people with fines if they’re not wearing masks.

“Before they just issue somebody a ticket I believe the first tack they are taking is an educational approach. On the off chance the person doesn’t know the rules have changed they are getting the benefit of the doubt the first time.”

Stevenson said he expects police will get calls from businesses when customers refuse to wear masks…

“And then you may have the store owner that takes the tack that I don’t want to offend my customers and then you may have another customer inside the store that takes offense to someone that isn’t wearing a mask. I think you can see there is going to be a strong learning curve on this.”

Stevenson said he expects the same rule will apply to restaurants where the order isn’t followed.

A first offense won’t result in fines - but subsequent violations might.