TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KSHV) – The Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department announced today that they will not be issuing citations to those who choose not to wear a face covering.
Friday morning TAPD released this statement regarding Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s statewide mask order:
In reference to Governor Hutchinson’s Executive Order 20-43 announced on July 16, 2020, Officers of the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department will not be issuing citations to those subjects who choose to not wear a face covering. We strongly encourage all citizens who go out into the public to use personal protective equipment recommended by health professionals, including face coverings, in hopes of reducing the spread of this virus. Our officers will be wearing masks when in contact with the public.
It is not known at this time if any State Agencies, such as the Department of Health or other state law enforcement agencies, will be enforcing the Governor’s most recent Executive Order or issuing citations for violation of the mask mandate; however, TAPD will not be enforcing this state directive or issuing citations for any violations. While we agree that COVID-19 is a serious health issue, TAPD’s primary responsibility and priority is fighting crime and providing police services.
The Texarkana Police Department has, and always will, recognize the constitutional right of businesses to refuse entry and service to any persons for any reason, including the failure to wear a face-covering in their business. In the event, a business calls for assistance in removing a subject who has been asked to leave, for whatever reason deemed by the business, the Texarkana Police Department will respond to assist, as we always have.
We encourage and expect our citizens to voluntarily follow the State’s guidelines in protecting yourself, your family, and those you are in contact with, and thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.