City of Fayetteville sees rise in mask hotline calls

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The hotline was used at least 50 times Wednesday and more than 200 times since it was created back in June.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fayetteville Police Department is now seeing a spike in mask hotline calls after the city made the phone number public on social media.

People are advised to call the hotline if they see anyone violating the mask mandate or social distancing guidelines.

The hotline was used at least 50 times Wednesday and more than 200 times since it was created back in June.

But, officials tell KNWA/Fox 24 some people are misusing it.

Fayetteville Fire Chief Brad Hardin said it was originally created along with the city’s mask mandate and was geared more towards businesses owners with may have trouble getting customers to wear masks.

He said its not meant to be a way to rat out someone walking down the street not wearing a mask, but rather for groups or businesses blatantly disregarding the mandate.

Both the city’s fire and police departments are working together on handling these calls.

“We’re not wanting to be the mask police, we don’t want to go out and enforce this but also we want this to be behind us and the only way its going to be behind us is for people to step up,” said Hardin.

Sgt. Tony Murphy with the Fayetteville Police Department said, “We’re just all trying to make this pandemic as least impactful on our community as we can since the beginning we’ve worked together on this, its been our message; we’re in this together and we want to come out on the other side.”

Murphy said when they do receive a call officers are sent to break up the group and educate people on the importance of wearing a mask.

He said so far no citations have been issued.

If you see something you want to report, you can call the hotline at 479-575-0258.

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