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Omaha goes more than two months with no mask mandate citations

No citations have been handed out since Jan. 3, OPD says.
Posted at 4:35 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 19:21:50-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha police haven't issued any mask mandate citations in nearly 10 weeks, Lt. John Wells said Thursday.

Complaints from the public to police and the mayor's hotline in February were down to their lowest point since September, according to a log obtained from the Omaha Police Department in a records request.

Omaha police first gave employees at two businesses citations in late November. The department issued citations at two more businesses in December, and another on Jan. 3.

Lt. Wells, who leads the department's mask mandate efforts, said he could only speculate why there haven't been more citations. He said fewer complaints plays a factor, either because compliance is up or that people are complaining less when they see noncompliance, perhaps because case numbers are down.

There have been employees cited at five total businesses, Wells confirmed.

All businesses associated with mask mandate citations:

  • Nov. 23: Anytime Laundry, 9720 Park Drive. Officers did not see any of the required signage displayed on any of the doors or windows. Officers noted all the people inside the laundromat were properly distanced. Officers cited an employee for not having the required notice of face coverings, according to police records.
  • Nov. 25: Rick's Meats, 2929 N. 204th St. Officers reported seeing an employee at the cash register not wearing a face covering. The owner told police she had a medical issue. The officer was advised to issue a citation.
  • Dec. 11: Wheatfields, 1224 S 103rd St. Officers cited an employee and the owner for not wearing a face mask. The owner was also cited for not enforcing the mask mandate.
  • Dec. 18: Lansky's, 4601 S 50th St. An officer saw the general manager not wearing a mask while talking to customers, according to a police report. When officers told him they had received four complaints, the employee became agitated and defensive, the report says.
  • Jan. 3: Pets R Us, 10913 Elm St. An employee took off their mask while helping customers in the presence of officers, Lt. Wells said.

SEE OPD'S MASK MANDATE LOG: 3 News Now Investigators are publishing the mask mandate log provided by Omaha Police in a public records request. It is shared as it was shared to KMTV with data through early March. Its contents have not necessarily been independently confirmed. It reflects complaints to OPD and the mayor's hotline, not mask mandate citations. Download the data here.

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