Police in Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, likely will not enforce the state’s order which imposes a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail for anyone in public not wearing masks, according to Breitbart.
“The citizens of Harris County are working hard together through this pandemic and do not need the added stress and fear of being fined or arrested for failing to wear a mask/face covering they may not have,” Harris County Fraternal Order of Police President David Cuevas wrote in a statement, which was published by the Houston Chronicle.
Cuevas also told Click2Houston he “does not know a single person in law enforcement that is going to enforce that order.”
County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat, put the face mask order in place Wednesday and has already received push back from the police union and local activists.
“We are stretched thin,” Cuevas said. “Murders are up 63% and we’re concerned about having a citation to issue to citizens because they are not wearing a mask?”
Hidalgo is also facing a lawsuit over the mask ordinance, which is set to go into effect Monday.
The Houston Police Officers Union tweeted a statement in which President Joe Gamaldi referred to Hidaldo’s order as “idiotic,” and “draconian,” claiming it would chip away at trust between the police and citizens.
“We do not have the time to be pawns in Hidalgo’s game of attempting to control the actions of the law-abiding, tax-paying individuals of our community,” Gamaldi said. “Especially since this idiotic order, is possibly an unconstitutional one from the county judge.”