Riley Co. issues first mask citation

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:21 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Riley County Police Department has issued its first citation for not complying with mask mandates.

The Riley County Police Department says it issued its first citation for a business not complying with the Manhattan mask ordinance on Thursday, Aug. 13.

RCPD says the citation was given after educational voluntary compliance requests were ignored. It says almost a dozen businesses in Manhattan were visited on Thursday and only one was cited.

The citation was issued to Katherine Bragg, 30, of Manhattan, KS while at O’Malley’s, located at 1208 Moro Street, for employees in common areas without proper face masks/coverings.

Director Dennis Butler's Message to the Community: Last night the first citation was issued at a commercial...

Posted by RileyCountyPD on Friday, August 14, 2020

“Our goal throughout the coronavirus pandemic has remained constant: to serve you,” says Director Dennis Butler. “Education efforts have succeeded to this point in helping our officer to not be forced into issuing a citation due to someone refusing to comply with the city ordinance. As your police agency, we will make every reasonable effort to educate you of changes in the law, and effectively communicate the boundaries of what is implemented.”

Butler says RCPD works tirelessly to inform community members of local ordinances and state mandates put in place. He says free masks are provided when possible and enforcement is used as a last resort.

RCPD says it is committed to maintaining the trust of the community through mutually beneficial conversations and have been extremely sensitive to issues and are fortunate that residents understand and embrace its thoughtful approach.

“We are always better working together, but this is truer now more than ever before,” says Butler.

According to Butler, the community has prioritized the health and safety of friends, family and neighbors while making tremendous sacrifices affecting all residents.

Butler warns that officers are not eager to issue citations and prefer to work towards voluntary compliance. He says patience and trust in his agency are the reasons compliance has gone so well in Riley Co.

“We are thankful for a community that symbolically stands with us, so we can all safely stand together again soon,” says Butler.

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