Citations are coming for people in Nashville who don’t follow the city’s mask mandate, says the city’s top police officials. They met with Metro Council members Wednesday afternoon and committed to stricter enforcement.
Police have taken heat from city leaders and citizens for standing by as people pack the city’s tourist district without face coverings. The Metro Nashville Police Department says it plans to start issuing citations for non-compliance and promises a heavier presence in tourism areas starting this weekend.
Nashville mandated masks at the end of June but didn’t plan to begin active enforcement for the first week. Metro Police have issued 20,000 verbal warnings for not wearing masks, but they haven’t issued a single citation. They have the authority to issue fines for $50.
The department has had school resource officers stationed downtown seven days a week. Now they plan to have three teams of eight officers patrolling on foot with a more aggressive approach.
“We’ll make an arrest if we have to,” Capt. David Leavitt says of “uncooperative” people. “This Friday and Saturday will be very clear to anyone who is in the downtown area that the police are out, the police are enforcing.”
The walking patrols will run from 3:30 p.m. to midnight. Additional officers will be on ATVs so that they can stop and cite “transpotainment” vehicles. Staff from the health department, Transportation Licensing Commission, Beer Board and the Fire Marshal’s Office will also be on hand, with the sheriff’s mobile booking vehicle stationed at Riverfront Park on both nights.