Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says they won’t enforce the statewide mask order

A man enters a convenience store while wearing a required face mask, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said they will take no actions to enforce the Governor’s Executive Order, requiring most Texans to wear a face covering in public.

The Montgomery County order prohibits law enforcement from “detaining, arresting or confining to jail, as a means to enforce the order,” which strips away the tools to enforce the compliance of the law.

Officials said the governor’s order violates the “civil liabilities” of residents, as “stopping someone for a face covering related issue could be construed or misconstrued as a detention. Additionally, holding someone for the purpose of issuing a citation related to a fine is a legally defined detention under current Texas law.”

Regarding violations to the mask order, deputies will only be dispatched if the complainant is an “authorized supervisory representative of the business or property and is reporting that a person is refusing to leave the property after receiving notice to leave and a disturbance is occurring.”

Officials said deputies arriving at these types of calls will follow the normal established procedures.

“We are in a public health crisis and we will use this opportunity to educate our community while still respecting individual liberties,” Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said in the release. “Let’s work together to ensure Montgomery County remains a safe place to live and work. We encourage all citizens to take reasonable precautions in their own life to mitigate possible exposure by following all Health Department guidelines.”

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