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The Green River Police Department has received numerous requests for information regarding enforcement of the recently approved Public Health Order (2020-3) that went into effect November 18th, which requires facial coverings in certain conditions.

It is important to emphasize the role of peace officers is not to control the communities they serve, but to work in concert with those communities to promote public safety. We are called on to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder.

We do this in a wide variety of ways in an effort to bring the community together to address these safety issues. While it is common to associate law enforcement with making arrests or writing citations, we also work through public education, issue press releases, speak to schools and civic groups, and work with local service and faith bases organizations. To be effective, our enforcement goals need broad community support.

This is a time where banding together as a community is the only answer. Having worked with Dr. Stachon, we know the current order has been issued out of concern for our community and the most vulnerable members of it based on her thoughtful assessment of the information she has available to her. The increased cases are creating additional strains on our community health care system and those who serve it.

We encourage everyone to consider others at this time. Your friends, families and neighbors may be affected or vulnerable in ways you do not know. Businesses need to stay open and they must balance their customers different desires with regulations imposed on them and potential legal consequences of their actions. We believe the majority of our community will visibly wear face coverings as outlined in the order. We know some will not be able to wear face coverings for various legitimate and lawfully exempted reasons.

We must and will take all of these factors into consideration if we receive complaints regarding this health order. Any action we take will be consistent with the law as it is currently defined.

In the end, it will not be law enforcement action that protects our community. It is the actions each of us, as members of the community, choose to take. We again encourage thoughtful consideration from each of you as you make those decisions. We appreciate your diligence in keeping us all safe and keeping us open.

Respectfully,

Chief Jarvie

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