Will police officers enforce Dane County mask mandate?

Face Mask Disposable Cloth
Image by Pixabay user Ri_Ya

MADISON, Wis. — As Dane County’s emergency mask mandate goes into effect, there are questions about how it will be enforced.

The order applies to anyone older than 5 years old and requires them to wear a mask indoors, anywhere but your home.  The order states that violators could be fined.

“If individuals fail to comply with any portion of the Public Health Order they could be issued a citation in the City of Madison the bail deposit for a first offense is $376. Under the ordinance the minimum is $62.26 and the maximum is $1321,” said Madison Assistant City Attorney Marci Paulsen.

On News 3 Now This Morning, the CEO of Boys and Girls Club Dane County said he had talked with interim Madison police chief about ticketing people of low income communities.

“I talked to the police chief and he made it clear to me that they’re not going to cite people based on this mandate but some of the citations might come from the department of health,” Michael Johnson, CEO, Boys and Girls Club Dane County.

News 3 Now has repeatedly asked MPD for clarification on enforcing the order, but our questions are referred to outside agencies.

County and city officials have said that they will respond to violators first with education.

“We expect voluntary compliance and if we are aware of violations we will be following up with education and attempt to gain compliance through education. If businesses continue to refuse to comply with any aspects of the Public Health Order we would look towards issuing citations,” said Paulsen.