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Sedgwick County law enforcement not planning to crack down on people who don’t follow Governor Kelly’s order

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – How will enforcement look for the statewide mask mandate?

Ultimately, each county can decide whether or not they want to enforce the order and require people to wear masks, but if they do so, law enforcement says they are not sure what law someone would even be cited for.

“Our belief now on the surface is we are not seeing anything that we can enforce by law,” says Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter.

Wichita Police Department Chief Gordon Ramsay and Sheriff Easter don’t expect a sweeping mask patrol to be singling out people who are not wearing one.

“It is more than likely going to be an education, voluntary request philosophy,” says Ramsay.

The decision comes a day before the county commission is set to consult the health officer at a Tuesday staff meeting to discuss how Sedgwick County wants to proceed and if this is the right decision.

“I know that people are concerned about the big numbers, total cases, and active cases,” said Commissioner Jim Howell. “I get that but our hospital numbers are actually quite good and as long as that stays good then we do not necessarily have to change something.”

At least for now, don’t expect any big changes from law enforcement. Officials just strongly urge that you comply as they figure out what enforcement looks like now and in the near future.

“I have to detain to get your name and stuff over a mask?” said Sheriff Easter. “Yeah, I am really not wanting to put our deputies in that situation at all.”

“Obviously, it puts our law enforcement in a bind, but ultimately, laws work in this country because the overwhelming majority of people follow them,” Ramsay adds.

Both the chief and sheriff say people should not be worried about being cited or arrested if you do not wear a mask in public places beginning Friday.


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