ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Counties with over 20 active cases of COVID-19 must enforce a mask mandate; meaning everyone in Midland and Odessa must wear a mask upon entering any business. What will happen if you don’t wear a mask? Are the local police departments responding to calls?
“It’s important to know that if we do receive a complaint we are required to respond to it just like any other call for service. We have responded and handled it accordingly and in every single instance we’ve just been giving a verbal warning,” said Steve LeSueur, the Public Information Officer for the Odessa Police Department.
The Midland Police Department said when they respond to calls they will ask people to comply or ask them to leave. OPD said right now, they haven’t been met with much resistance if someone is a repeat offender they may be subject to a $250 fine.
“You give a verbal or written warning first and then the second is an actual citation. Fortunately, here in Odessa, we haven’t reached that point. The Odessa Police Department has not had to issue any citations to anyone,” said LeSueur.
They do say that if they are swamped with calls they will prioritize them starting with the most serious so it may take them longer to respond to a mask complaint if their call number is higher that day.
The Public Information Officer said, “We’re an extremely busy agency and we have other much more serious calls to handle so we do prioritize our calls.”