Mt. Juliet Police say, even though the infection rate appears to be rising, they see citizens taking mask-wearing more seriously now than ever.

COVID-19 cases in Wilson County leapt from 475 on June 7 to 1,457 by July 17, one of several statistics that moved County Mayor Randall Hutto to establish a mask mandate on that date.

According to MJPD, residents have been consistent in their awareness and compliance with local, state and federal guidelines.

“I feel that awareness and precautions on the issue continues to rise and people continue to educate themselves on the matter,” said MJPD Capt. Tyler Chandler.

He said that citizens can’t help but be aware of the pandemic by this point, but one of the primary means by which he and his colleagues have been able to observe and notice not only the awareness but the compliance of local residents is through enforcing Hutto’s mask mandate and educating the public on the matter.

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Lebanon Police and Mt. Juliet Police all announced they would enforce Hutto’s mandate by educating residents on the subject and providing a mask.

Chief James Hambrick boasted in a press release that MJPD had garnered significant compliance “without charging business owners or community members.”

“Our officers are out with masks,” Chandler said, “and if anyone is in violation of the mandate, they will provide a mask in an attempt to gain compliance.”

While police distribute face masks supplied by the Tennessee Department of Health, they also educate, and it’s during that process that they encounter informed, if not overly informed, people with a wide array of opinions.

“During education, we simply let them know about the COVID situation and provide a mask,” Chandler explained. “With the publicity of COVID, many already know about the issue. However, their thoughts on the matter range broadly.”

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