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Getting Answers: Lafayette Police Department conducts compliance checks

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Posted at 11:25 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 07:03:38-04

KATC is learning more from the Lafayette Police Department about their recent compliance checks across the city.

The Governor's executive order requires any employees who interact with the public to wear a mask.

KATC is Getting Answers from Lafayette Police on how these compliance checks work and what businesses can expect if they're not found in compliance.

LPD is now conducting random compliance checks and following up on public complaints to make sure employees are following the Governor's and Mayor-President's orders.

Sgt. Wayne Griffin says the department does not have a special enforcement detail, but are using officers already on duty.

"Most checks that we come in contact with, people are not wearing a mask. It's as simple as, hey, can you put your mask on? That's it.," said Sgt. Griffin.

Police say at this point, they're not issuing citations, instead, they're giving verbal warnings.

"Everybody that we have talked to is coming into compliance and everybody has been real courteous and helpful," Sgt. Griffin said. "There's been no written warnings, we're just educating the public on what to do."

According to records obtained by KATC, since June 22, between the police and fire departments, there have been a combined total of 199 compliance checks with 16 violations.

Sgt. Griffin said, "We've been really fortunate that the public has been following those orders and making our job a lot easier and making everybody a lot safer."

Police understand wearing a mask is new for a lot of people and acknowledge it will take time to get used to.

"People will put it on their chin to get a breather and sometimes they forget and we've run into some of those cases. As soon as we bring it to their attention, they comply," said Sgt. Griffin.

We asked LPD if their department mandates officers to wear a mask while on shift.

Sgt. Griffin said masks are strongly suggested and many officers are wearing them when dealing with the public. The Department asks officers to comply with social distancing as much as possible.

The Governor's Office says officers should wear a mask, but the Governor's order does not mandate that they do so.

Mayor-President Josh Guillory's office agrees that while not mandatory, officers should wear masks while interacting with the public.

Members of our team hit the streets to check on compliance.

On Wednesday, July 1, KATC employees visited 32 businesses between Lafayette, Youngsville and New Iberia.

We found employees improperly wearing masks or not wearing masks at all at 18 of the 32 businesses.

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