EPD’s lack of mask enforcement puts community in danger

Officers need to do more than “education”.

I arrived at the police station to ask the department what was being done about the people in town not following the face mask law, as Cole Street was packed with people not wearing masks.

I asked an officer, who was not wearing a mask, why EPD wasn’t enforcing the mask law. He replied “It isn’t a law, Inslee can’t make new laws.” The officer indicated he would only enforce it if it was a RCW.

Our state has RCW that allow for mandates that must be followed in the given situations, such as public health crises. The officer informed me their only job is to “educate” the public regarding the mask requirement. I asked what he and the EPD were doing to “educate” people. He had no examples. He also did not take advantage of the opportunity to educate the woman coughing on me purposely with no mask inside the police department. He refused to go down to Cole Street bars and educate anybody. EPD is making COVID worse with their dereliction of duty.

Per state of Washington Department of Health, order of the Secretary of Health 20-03, “Every person in Washington State must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth when in any indoor or outdoor public setting … Members of the public are required by law to comply with this order, and violators may be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to RCW 43.70.130(7), RCW 70.05.120(4), and WAC 246-100-070(3).” There are few exceptions to this law.

Julie Acheson


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