By Edi Birsan – The County has authorized the cities to establish penalties for not wearing health masks. I have already received some requests to do so. However, there are some details that need answered:
Is this something we now want the Police to do? *In the current mode of reducing things the police do, this is not going to be popular.
Who does this enforcement?
Do we have volunteers do it?
What happens when there is no cooperation given and in fact they run into outright hostile people?
Who is trained to deal with the call for de-escalation?
Is the city going to be liable for the actions of the volunteers and the damages to the volunteers?
Do we bring in outside ‘rent-a-cops’?
What is the legal follow-through costs for noncompliant payment? Is this to be treated like a parking ticket? Then again, this is a ticket on a person which is a potential challenge in court.
Do we put body cameras on the enforcers?
To what extent do we authorize the enforcer in dealing with the noncompliant who may simply say “Screw you” and walk away?
There are other issues that relate to this. If we were to bring in new people, would they not need some sort of uniform for identification purposes? After all the chaos in other cities with unidentified enforcers, there should be something. What about the costs of equipment such as simply being able to call for help, legal oversight and on job oversight?
The respondents on my Facebook thread were all over the place from “no one should enforce a bad law,” to “the Feds should do this.” In the last scenario given the situation in Portland, the idea of Federal enforcers of a mask law sends shivers in my timbers. A lot of people shrugged their virtual shoulders saying: “Good Questions”.”
The issue at the core is that when you are on the Council or any similar legislative body, you have to take into account a whole range of things when it comes to laws or regulations that make what you might normally think is a simple slam dunk, but when you go through the details that come with actually writing down the policy and the decision tree of action and support it is not so simple as:
“Wear your mask, it’s the law.” So please think about what you want us to do and we can avoid all this down the rabbit hole travel by …well, “Wear your mask, damn it.”

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