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Sheriff will take No Actions to Enforce the Governor’s Order GA-29

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The following statement was released by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, July 4, 2020:

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office will take NO actions to enforce the Governor’s Office Executive Order GA-29 issued on July 2, 2020 regarding the mandatory use of face masks in public.

This order includes specific language prohibiting law enforcement from detaining, arresting, or confining to jail as a means to enforce the order. This language strips law enforcement of the necessary tools to enforce compliance with the law.

The language included in the Governor’s order could subject our agency, and Montgomery County as a whole, to civil liability 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.

Calls for service reporting a violation of GA-29 will only be dispatched if the reportee 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. 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. 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.

Source: Lieutenant Scott Spencer, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Administrative Services