APD Chief Steve Shumate statement on Gov. Inslee’s face covering order

Aberdeen, WA – Aberdeen Police Chief Steve Shumate released a statement on Governor Jay Inslee’s mandatory face covering order that takes effect today.

The statement joins many agencies in the area.

Shumate states that as with most Washington law enforcement agencies, the Aberdeen Police Department will continue to focus on education and engagement regarding state orders related to the coronavirus crisis. 

He says the statewide face covering order is a public health and safety measure, it is not a mandate for law enforcement to detain, cite, or arrest violators but rather an evidence-based and safety focused directive meant to slow the spread of a potentially deadly disease.  

The release joins other law enforcement statements in saying that they recognize that there are also medical exceptions to the use of facial coverings.

It states that Aberdeen officers will not use this order as a tool to stop or detain citizens who are not wearing a face mask. 

The Aberdeen Police Department will continue to communicate with and encourage all citizens within the community to make safety-focused decisions and follow all health-based directives from the Governor as well as state and local health officials. 

Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers posted on the Hoquiam Police Department’s Facebook page that while technically, all these emergency proclamations issued by Governor Inslee under state law are enforceable as a misdemeanor crime, “it is unreasonable, impractical, and capricious to expect every officer to enforce every statute in every situation.”

Find Chief Myers full post at the Hoquiam Police Department Facebook page.