TAPD will not issue citations for violations of Arkansas mandatory mask order

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TEXARKANA — The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department (TAPD) released a statement Friday announcing they will not be enforcing the mandatory mask order in Arkansas.

“In reference to Governor [Asa] 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,” the statement read.

The TAPD says they still “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.”

Texarkana Arkansas police will be wearing masks when making contact with the public.

The police department says that they do not know currently if any state agencies, including the department of health or other law enforcement agencies, will enforce the state’s mandatory mask order, including the issuing of citations for 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 statement also read.

The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department cited the recognition of “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.” The police department says they will assist any business in the removal of individuals who refuse to leave the business when asked, which the department claims is a function they have always carried out.