Police around Metro Detroit flooded by calls from residents reporting others not wearing masks

Authorities reveal plans for handling calls about new mask rules

Michigan law enforcement agencies are approaching the enforcement of the state's new face mask requirements in different ways.

DETROIT – Police around Metro Detroit said they have been flooded with calls from residents reporting others aren’t following Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new mask rules.

Tuesday is the second day of Whitmer’s ramped up mask mandate. When people aren’t seeing others wearing masks in public spaces, some are calling 911.

“Nobody is social distancing and nobody’s wearing masks,” one caller said about a public park. “There are 100 people in the complex.”

In Livingston County, police are getting several 911 calls from people reporting others violating the mask rules or being in businesses where nobody was wearing masks on Monday.

“Nobody has a mask on,” one caller said. “Not a single person, and the sheriff isn’t enforcing that.”

“Our office got a ton of calls yesterday,” Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy said.

Murphy made it clear he’s not sending deputies to calls about masks. He said since the state reopened, emergency calls have increased. He wants his deputies working on those emergencies.

“Frankly, if the governor wants this enforced, she has the state police,” Murphy said. “I hate to put them under the bus. I love them. At the end of the day, I report to the voters in the county.”

Detroit police aren’t responding to calls about masks, referring them to the health department.

Oakland County deputies responded to eight calls for people breaking the mask rules on Monday, and when they arrived at the locations, masks had been put on.

Royal Oak hasn’t received calls, but police said they will remind people about the order to wear a mask.

“I could keep a staff of 10 (on the mask calls),” Murphy said. “I’m not going to do it.”

Murphy said people who call 911 about masks are referred to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

If there is a mask dispute that turns into trespassing or a disturbance, that’s when deputies will respond to the scene, he said.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.