Justice System Committee (JSC)
If you see a mask-less officer outdoors within six feet of another individual or yourself, or a mask-less law enforcement officer indoors:
- Tell the officer to wear a mask over their mouth and nose, if you do not feel endangered in doing so.
- Fill out a complaint form with the appropriate department as soon as possible.
- Tweet current photos meeting the criteria above using tags, such as: @BellinghamPD or @whatcomsheriff, and @RivetersWA. Add hashtags, such as: #PublicSafety #MaskMandate #CommittedtoCommunity #BPDPolicy
On June 23, 2020, Governor Inslee announced a statewide mask mandate when in public spaces. As early as July 28, Sandy Robson, a Birch Bay resident, began asking Chief Doll about Bellingham Police Department’s mask-wearing policies. The JSC reported to Chief Doll on October 12 that his police officers had not worn masks during much of the summer when within six feet of community members who are unsheltered. During an October 26 City of Bellingham meeting, the JSC called on Chief Doll to direct his officers to wear masks.
Not until November 24, the same day Whatcom County Health Director reported COVID cases appearing amongst Bellingham community members who are homeless, did Chief Doll finally issue a directive requiring all police staff to wear masks.
Chief Doll and other law enforcement agencies have not even taken minimum steps to keep even the most vulnerable residents in our community safe. We need to tell them our health and safety matters.
Links to complaint forms and suggested information to include in a complaint.
Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office
When reporting, we suggest including the following information:
- Officer’s name, if known
- Date, time, and location of incident
- How you came in contact with the officer
- Photos of the officer not wearing mask, if possible
- Describe how you (or the exposed individual) felt in the situation
- Chief Doll’s November 24, 2020 email to Bellingham police staff
- Associated Press article about police department mask-wearing policies in cities across the country