Prairie Village police chief raises concerns about proposed ordinance that would require face masks in public

Photo credit Mario A. Pena. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Prairie Village’s police chief is expressing concerns about a proposed ordinance set to come before the city council next week that would require people to wear face masks in public.

In a memo written May 11 and included in the agenda packet for Monday’s meeting of the governing body, Chief Tim Schwartzkopf says the ordinance would be “difficult to enforce consistently” and that it could “cause additional confusion or frustration for residents or visitors” because it would not be consistent with the guidelines in place in neighboring jurisdictions.

Prairie Village Police Chief Tim Schwartzkopf wrote that he worries about asking officers to enforce a face mask ordinance, saying it could be seen by residents as an overreach. File photo.

“…[Using] the police to enforce this type of health order, i.e. mandating the wearing of a mask, would be inappropriate in many citizens’ eyes,” he wrote. “If citizens perceive this ordinance as overreaching or heavy handed, I believe that it could tarnish our reputation because we will be the ones tasked with enforcement.”