HCSO plans on enforcing mask requirement starting Friday


HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – By the end of the week Hamilton County deputies will be enforcing a facial covering requirement.

The county mayor announced a mask mandate on Monday.

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“This is certainly not something he’d wish he’d have no more than I would as sheriff, but I think we have to look at the realities with what’s happening with this virus,” Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said.

Violators of the mask rules can be fined 50 dollars and given jail time.

But, Sheriff Hammond said it’s not his goal to actively look for people breaking the rules.

“It’s not my intent as sheriff, as I think any police chief, to harass people about this. We want to ask them to be safe. We want to talk to folks and give warnings of what could happen and hopefully they will comply with it,” Sheriff Hammond said.

Sheriff Hammond said they’ll be giving warnings up front.

“In every call that we get. In every call that we observe we will try to be very reasonable. We will in a friendly manner say ‘look you know what’s going on. You many not be aware that there is a mandate about the masks, but you really need to cover up if the circumstances allow it,” Sheriff Hammond said.

If you repeatedly violate the mandate, Sheriff Hammond said that will likely be noted.

“Probably, if we got a repeated complaint and we did have to issue a citation we will note that in our report and it will be up to the judges what they in imposing a sentence,” Sheriff Hammond said.

The sheriff said that people are responsible for getting their own masks.

You can pick up a free one at the health department.