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AUBURN — Auburn Police Chief Martin D. McCoy issued a statement Thursday explaining how his department will respond to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s order requiring Hoosiers to wear masks in some public situations:

“As of Monday, July 27, 2020, Governor Holcomb’s executive order regarding mandatory wearing of masks while in public will take effect. In its current form, we do not believe it is a criminal offense that should be legally enforced by the officers of the Auburn Police Department. The Auburn Police Department will not be dispatching an officer for the sole purpose of addressing a complaint of an individual who fails to wear a mask in public.

“We do ask that the members of the public display respect if addressing another individual about the mask issue. If a situation escalates to a point it causes a disturbance, officers will respond to handle the issue. It is also the right of any business or organization to request that masks be worn by anyone who patronizes their establishment. If the individual fails to comply with the request, the establishment can refuse service and the individual can be asked to leave the premises. If the individual refuses to comply with the request, Auburn Police officers will also be dispatched at the request of the establishment to address the situation. If the individual refuses to leave the property, a charge of criminal trespass might apply, resulting in legal ramifications.

“We understand that not everyone will support the governor’s decision regarding wearing masks in public, but we highly encourage and recommend doing so whenever possible. We ask that every effort be made by all members of the community to make well thought-out decisions and work together to get through our current situation.

“Thank you for your cooperation.”

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