COLLEYVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Tarrant County is now under a mandatory mask ordinance for both customers and employees at businesses throughout the county due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
However, it is up for individual cities to decide whether or not they will comply.
Mayor Richard Newton told CBS 11 he feels if the city were to enforce it, the police department wouldn’t be able to keep up.
“We don’t want our police department in a situation where they’re being asked to do something that they can’t do. And then they’re blamed on not doing their job and so if we do not want to participate in that. The county has the authority. They can execute and enforce that that’s perfectly fine. And no issue with that we just choose not to participate. So basically, we’re just not taking action. We haven’t created proclamation. We are just not taking action,” Mayor Newton said.
When asked why his police department can’t enforce the mandate, he said no government entity can require individuals to wear a mask, according to Governor Abbott’s June 3 executive order.
Mayor Newton made the decision on his own, with no city council vote.
This comes after the city already received pushback in April after opening some businesses despite Governor Abbott’s order.
CBS 11 spoke to multiple people Friday morning who felt as if their safety is being compromised.
Carolyn Spann, a long-time Colleyville taxpayer, said she feels not following the mandate is irresponsible.
“I have friends in Plano, Frisco, Dallas. They all think we are nuts! It’s like embarrassing. I am embarrassed to live in Colleyville right now,” she said.
On Friday, the cities of Denton and Red Oak said they are implementing mask mandates.