ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The mayor of Roswell and the sheriff of Chaves County will not be enforcing the mask mandate that is set to begin Friday. This comes as the governor lifted the previous mandate back in June.
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Mayor Dennis Kintigh said he is not happy with the call from Santa Fe. “We’re going to have to learn to live with COVID-19 because it’s never going away, we are nowhere near the severity that we had in January I think the governor’s reaction is an overreaction,” Kintigh said.
The mayor says he has ordered Roswell police not to enforce the mask mandate, and the Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington says his department won’t either. “I can tell you that we at the sheriff’s office, we will not be enforcing the mask mandate I believe that this is a choice I believe those who want to wear it can wear it and those who don’t want to wear it don’t have to wear it,” Herrington said.
Both the mayor and the sheriff said that the reason why they won’t enforce the mandate in Roswell is that they believe it should be up to the person whether they want to wear a mask or get the vaccine. “It should be your choice to get it just like the flu shot if you choose to do it do it there’s nobody that going to put you down or tell you it’s the wrong thing,” Sheriff Herrington said, “If you believe it is the right thing for your health but it’s your health and you need to be the one to decide what that going to be.”
Though both the Mayor and Sheriff don’t agree with the mandate, they are still encouraging everyone to get the vaccine. “Get the vaccination I think it’s amazing and it’s a good thing and a medical miracle I encourage everyone to do it,” Mayor Kintigh said.
KRQE News 13 did email and call the governor’s office to get their response about the Roswell mayor and Chaves county sheriff not enforcing the mask mandate and have not heard back. The mask requirement lasts until at least Sept. 15.