Connecticut governor allows non-police officers to issue fines for not following mask mandate

The following editorial is written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today

HARTFORD, CT- Remember when we were told that mask mandates, social distancing and business closings were going to be used to “flatten the curve?”

Well in states such as Connecticut, the curve has been flattened so much it is almost an inverse curve. That isn’t stopping our resident tyrant, Gov. Ned Lamont from taking it yet another step further.

As of Thursday night at midnight, anyone who flouts the command from King Lamont to wear mass or socially distance will be fined $100. And it doesn’t have to be a cop that issues the citation.

Lamont, who has been running Connecticut as a monarch since March and who recently was given that unmitigated power through February by the Democrat-controlled state legislature issued yet another executive order on Tuesday.

Lamont has issued so many executive orders that in order to hide how many he has actually issued without doing some legwork, they started using numbers, then letters.

When he got to Executive Order #7, he started just adding letters to them…7A, 7B,…all the way through 7OOO (that’s the letter O, by the way). We figured out that the number is the month, so in July alone, Lamont issued 68 Executive Orders. Tyrant? You tell us.

It is unknown if the Connecticut State Legislature is actually still getting paid, but they’re still tooling around with their official legislative license plates attached to their personal vehicles on the taxpayers dime.

But other than a session to screw the police in the state a couple months back, the state legislature has been left impotent by abdicating their legislative authority to King Ned. So much for representative democracy.

Back to Lamont’s latest gem. NBC News is reporting that the new mandate will impose the $100 fine for felony failure to wear a mask. Ok, it’s not really a felony but you get the point. We are sure this will make all the “Karen’s” in the state now starting to think they’ve been deputized to call 911 every time they see someone not wearing a mask while walking in a park with nobody around.

But don’t worry, Connecticut residents. Lamont is doing you a “favor” by the latest dictate, according to the state’s chief operating officer, Josh Geballe in speaking to the Hartford Courant.

He said that the only option Connecticut police had (who apparently have nothing better to do) to put the hammer down on mask scofflaws was to charge people with a misdemeanor, which Geballe said was “overly punitive.”

“There wasn’t really much that was being done, because many people viewed [a misdemeanor charge] as excessively harsh for failing to wear a mask if you couldn’t socially distance,” Geballe said. “So they asked for this new tool, an infraction that was a bit of a step-down enforcement.”

So, in a state which recently removed authority away from police to enforce dangerous equipment violations on vehicles, they now are putting the hammer down on people who aren’t wearing masks.

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Geballe also told the Courant that besides giving law enforcement a “new tool,” Lamont’s dictate imposes uniformity on a statewide basis on how mask mandates will be enforced.

The Town of Simsbury, with probably a higher average annual income per resident than most towns, imposed a $250 fine for violations of mask or physical distancing orders.

Geballe said, “It’s come up over and over again, to the point where we felt it was an appropriate thing to do.”

Can’t you see? They’re doing us a FAVOR!

However, do not even think of having more than 25 people at an indoor event—that will cost you 250 large; the same applies for outside gatherings with more than 100 people—unless it’s a “peaceful protest”—the rules are out the door for those. Thinking of organizing a felony large event? That will be 500 smackers, payable to Ned Lamont.

Breitbart News also reported that it will not only be police officers who have the ability to put Lamont’s hammer down.

According to the executive order, the state “Commissioner of Public Health, local health directors, and their designees; municipal chief executive officers and their designees; and state and municipal police officers, peace officers…special police forces…and public safety departments of institutions of higher education to issue fines.”

Think Paul Blart, Mall Cop…that’s about the only people excluded from Lamont’s Mask Enforcement Squad.

Besides the mask mandate, people who are outdoors and not wearing a mask and not maintaining a distance of six feet from another person can be fined as well. Five feet, 10 inches? No way…you’re subject to becoming a COVID super spreader!

It is unknown how the above officials will determine the six-foot distance…seems a bit subjective to us. But hey, while you’re trying to get people to hate the police, why not use them to further deprive the rights of people? Win-win. 

There is some question if the fines for felony failure to wear a mask (shouldn’t it be called Karen’s Law?) would work.

According to Brian Higgins, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a former police chief, he isn’t quite that certain.

He told NBC News, “People still don’t stop speeding because there’s fines, people still don’t stop at stop signs because there’s fines,” he said. “I think it will have some impact but I think it will still be hard to enforce.”

When asked to expand on why he didn’t believe fines would be effective, Higgins said:

“Here’s the problem. Technically you’re only supposed to wear masks if you’re not able to socially distance. So, it becomes a judgment call for whoever is doing the enforcing. Also, there’s this moving scale. People are seeing masks being enforced in one place and not the other.”

This of course he said leads to confusion over where and when to wear a mask, which he says makes people less likely to be cooperative.

“I see the extremes all the time,” Higgins said. “I see people walking all alone down a wooded path wearing masks. I see those people who are hellbent on not wearing masks walking in crowds. In my house, the rules are the rules and we follow the rules.”

Polly Price is a professor of law and public health at Emory University in Atlanta. She said that she wasn’t so sure that using police to hand out fines was “a good use” of their time.

She suggested using the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” concept, however acknowledged that store owners would be put in the position of enforcing the mandates and would need police to be willing to answer “trespass” and “disturbance” calls.

Despite Lamont saying on Monday that “numbers are still trending in the right direction,” that unadulterated power is hard to give up.

It’s interesting because the same people who accuse President Trump of acting like a “dictator,” are perfectly fine with bowing to someone who is really acting like one, as long as it’s for their “own good” and their “safety.” It’s probably also “their guy” keeping them paranoid and scared so like good little sheep, they’re perfectly willing to go along. For proof, go to Facebook or Twitter…they’re all over the place giving unwanted advice and lectures. 

Lamont’s latest executive order will remain in effect until November 9, conveniently after the presidential election, when we’re certain there will be a “miracle” and all will be returned to normal.

Connecticut residents, however are tiring of Lamont’s power trip. During a groundbreaking ceremony for a transit project in Berlin, Connecticut (actually appropriate location for someone acting like a tyrant), a protester interrupted his press conference, according to WTNH in New Haven, Connecticut.

The man, using a bullhorn shouted at Lamont that there is no scientific evidence to support a mask mandate. This will likely be the first of many such people who are getting fed up with never-ending dictates from power-hungry governors like Lamont.

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Author: Pat Droney

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