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Houston Police Union Calls Face Mask Order ‘Idiotic’

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Effective Monday, April 27, 2020, residents of Harris County, Texas, will be subject to a fine if they are seen in public without a form of face coverage. Officials of this third-largest county in America have issued the order, which the Houston police union has said it will be exercising their better judgment on, in its enforcement. The face mask debate concluded when it was mandated on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, by county executive Judge Lina Hidalgo. It applies to all residents 10 years of age and older and will last for a minimum period of 30 days but could be extended.

Houston Police Union Calls Face Mask Order ‘Idiotic’

Photo: envato elements

Hidalgo clarified the face coverage requirement by denoting that “acceptable” items would include a “homemade mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief” but did not require that N-95 respirators or medical masks were necessary, since they would be required by area health workers. Police will now have the discretion to issue fines up to $1,000 with the intent of “getting residents to comply.” The Houston Mayor said that 70K masks were planned to be distributed to “vulnerable” residents of the county with a population of over 4.7 million. Just prior to that, the mask mandate was denounced as “idiotic” and perhaps unconstitutional by the Houston police officers’ union. Lodge 110 President Joe Gamaldi reminded Houston police officers that they were overtaxed, at present, with a violent crime increase, and that they therefore had discretion in the enforcement of this rule.

Houston Police Union Calls Face Mask Order ‘Idiotic’
Photo: envato elements

According to reports, burglaries in Houston have increased by 30 percent, and the number of murders has grown by 35 percent, as of recent. The requirement for the police to uphold Hidalgo’s order may strain a force that is already doing its best to meet existing needs. Gamaldi claimed this latest in a series of COVID-19 maneuvers would destroy the bridge between the force and Harris County residents. According to RT.com, Harris County has identified a total of 4,823 confirmed cases of Covid-19. As of Wednesday, April 22, 2020, there have been 75 COVID-19-related deaths.

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