(WFRV) – Menasha Police Chief Timothy Styka joined WFRV Local 5 for a Community Update on Local 5 This Morning. Chief Styka discussed how his department is responding to the statewide mask mandate,
According to Chief Styka, Menasha Police are treating the statewide mask mandate like many other Wisconsin law enforcement agencies – they’re focusing more on educating the community about masks rather than on enforcing the mandate.
“What we really want to do is make sure people are aware of the importance of wearing masks while they’re out and about. As the CDC has shown, wearing a mask is probably proven to be one of the most effective things during the pandemic.”
Chief Styka says the department is forwarding complaints regarding individuals not wearing masks to the health department because his officers “aren’t medical health experts.” While the department is taking an educational approach, Chief Styka says officers will address issues local businesses may have if an individual is not adhering to the business’ mask requirement.
Chief Styka also discussed how the Menasha Police Department follows the Procedural Justice Concept of LEED for enforcement. He explains that Procedural Justice “provides a person a voice in what’s going to happen next.”
LEED stands for Listen, Explain, Equity, and Dignity. Chief Styka says the ‘Dignity’ part of LEED is crucial.
“They know they made a mistake, they don’t need a police officer sitting there, beating them up over it verbally,” Chief Styka says. “If they can walk away with some self-esteem, that’s truly important.”
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Styka says the department has seen an increase in disturbances and ‘neighbor problems.’ Recently, Chief Styka says they are seeing fewer of these calls as the pandemic goes on.
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