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Deerfield approves plan allowing police to issue tickets to those who don’t wear face coverings

File Photo | Deerfield Police Department.

The Deerfield Village Board passed an ordinance allowing police officers to issue $50 tickets to people who don’t wear a face-covering in public.

Deerfield Police Chief John Sliozis sent a letter in August to Village Manager Kent Street notifying him that the police department would seek changes to the enforcement of the mayor’s emergency declarations at the August 17 board meeting.

“Recent events surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in numerous reported violations regarding prohibitions as established by Mayoral Order,” Sliozis said.

“In an effort to clarify that compliance tickets may be issued for such violations, Village counsel has prepared an Ordinance amendment allowing a Deerfield Police Officer to issue a compliance ticket in lieu of a citation or arrest warrant to an individual observed to be in violation of a current order,” Sliozis added.

Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal originally enacted emergency orders in March regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a face-covering requirement.

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Deputy Police Chief Tom Keane said at the meeting that the tickets are a last resort and could help in instances where officers are called to a dispute over face coverings.

The Deerfield Park District announced in early August that they were closing the skate park at Jewett Park after “minimal” compliance of people wearing face coverings.

The skate park has since been reopened after the new ordinance went into effect.

The ticket for violating the new ordinance may be settled by paying a fee of $50 within 10 days or by requesting a court appearance, the ordinance says.

Those who do not pay the fine could face late fees, be referred to a collection agency, have to appear in court or have a criminal complaint issued against them.


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