Racine Police Department hands out free masks as citywide mandate goes into effect

NOW: Racine Police Department hands out free masks as citywide mandate goes into effect

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A mask mandate is in effect for the city of Racine, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

As the mask mandate goes into effect, the Racine Police Department is handing out 1,200 masks to anyone in the community that needs them at five community-oriented policing houses across the city. 

“When I go in stores and places, I see some people with masks on and some that don’t have masks on,” Bernice Wilson said. 

Bernice Wilson is one of several people who came to one of Racine's community-oriented policing homes to pick up a mask Monday, as it is now mandated.

She believes the initiative by the department will help those in need follow the new citywide mask mandate.

“I don’t know whether they can afford the mask or not, but the way I see it everyone should be wearing a mask,” Wilson said. 

Racine police officials say by having five different locations throughout the city, it will help give many people access to masks.

“The Racine Police Department has basically adopted a policy or a mantra of trying to gain acceptance through education,” Sergeant Walter Powell said. 

Under the new mandate, everyone in Racine is required to wear a mask in public places, and outdoors when they are not able to socially distance.

Residents could be ticketed $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense, and $100 for a third offense. Businesses that don't enforce the mandate could also be fined up to $500.

“Rather than write a citation, it would be in the best interest of the community and the state to hand out these masks and prevent the spread of COVID,” Powell said. 

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