The Bourne Police Department has asked residents to follow guidelines and rules issued by the state in the fight against COVID-19. Police warn that not following the rules could result in a big personal financial hit.

Police Chief Dennis R. Woodside issued a statement on the department’s Facebook page on Wednesday, May 6. He reminded residents that, effective immediately as stipulated by Massachusetts Governor Charles D. Baker Jr., it is mandatory that everyone must wear a mask when in a public setting in which social distancing cannot be assured.

“Basically, you are required to wear a covering over your mouth and nose indoors and outdoors when you are in a place open to the public and cannot maintain a distance from any such person of at least six feet,” the chief said.

The rule applies to riding in transportation like taxis, ride-sharing vehicles and mass transit, the chief said. The penalty for violating the governor’s order, he said, is $300. Enforcement of the order will be done primarily by the town’s health agent and inspectors.

“We want to fully encourage voluntary compliance in protecting each other from this highly contagious virus,” he said.

Chief Woodside also said that the department is not asking residents to report on one other regarding noncompliance with wearing the required face coverings or someone’s failures to follow social distancing guidelines. He said officers will address issues as they appear, “but we will not be responding to such calls.”

Not responding, he said, is the department’s way of following social distancing guidelines and keeping the staff safe and healthy. He acknowledged that the current environment is difficult for everyone. Officers must continue to maintain distance when talking with both residents and visitors while the battle to contain the virus is ongoing, he said.

“Please don’t take it personally if we don’t get that close. We are also trying to set a good example,” he said.

Chief Woodside addressed another issue that officers are confronting—pets that are off leash. He asked that dog owners make sure to leash their pet any time they leave their property. Doing so shows consideration to others, as well as complies with Town of Bourne bylaw, he said.

“You could also be avoiding a legal issue should your dog get into a conflict with another dog or human. I can assure you that you don’t need that aggravation,” he said.

In the current virus environment, the chief said, there are many more people walking and biking along the roadways. He asked people to please take notice and drive appropriately. The arrival of warmer weather, he said, will bring with it such questions as “When will all this end?” and “What will the summer look like?” With no easy answers, he asked for tolerance and restraint, and he thanked residents for their widespread support of the police department.

“It is truly appreciated,” he said. “Please continue to be patient and considerate of others.”

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