West Hollywood Sheriff Deputies have begun to deliver on their promise to start citing individuals who refuse to wear masks or other forms of face coverings while out in Public in the City of West Hollywood. As COVID-19 infections continue to rise in Los Angeles County, the Governor of California issued an order for everyone in the State to wear a face cover/mask when in public. The City of West Hollywood enacted a similar order and announced that it would start fining individuals who did not mask-up.
Yesterday, Thursday, July 16, West Hollywood Sheriff’s CIT Teams (COPPS and EPT) conducted a face cover/mask enforcement operation. Deputies fined eight individuals in Plummer Park and four others in other areas of the City, for a total of twelve cites. Each individual cited was given a mask. This is the fourth Mask / Face Cover Operation WeHo deputies have conducted and will continue to conduct more as the risks of COVID-19 infections continue.
“The City of West Hollywood has been a leader with this issue,” Lieutenant Moulder tells WEHO TIMES. “Based on the increase in COVID-19 infections, and the Order of the Governor, County, and City Council, the need to wear a mask has become critical.”
The City reports that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood Station has been monitoring compliance of face covering requirements since May.
The West Hollywood Station announced that, while its primary focus remains on education and awareness, personnel may issue an Administrative Citation if someone refuses voluntary compliance to use a mask or other form of face covering. Sheriff’s personnel will hand out face coverings as part of requesting compliance to people who do not have them.
The City of West Hollywood’s fee schedule for such Administrative Citations is as follows:
- A first violation is $250 plus a fee of $50 for a total of $300;
- A second violation is $1,000 plus a fee of $50 for a total of $1,050;
- A third violation is $2,000 plus a fee of $50 for a total of $2,050; and
- A fourth violation is $5,000 plus a fee of $50 for a total of $5,050.
These are Administrative Citations, not Criminal Charges.
“As you know, we announced that we would have to increase our enforcement for people refusing to wear a face cover/mask in public,” Lt. Moulder said. “It is always our intent to educate and advise about the mandate and change the paradigm. The City of West Hollywood, along with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, have supplied masks that we handed out to people in our Community.”
On Thursday, July 2, 2020, West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station conducted a face cover/mask operation, as part of the station’s continuing efforts to “flatten the curve” of this COVID-19 Pandemic. Members of West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station Community Impact Team (CIT) took to the streets in West Hollywood in an effort to educate our Community about the requirement to wear a face cover/mask whilst in public. “They focused on the main business thoroughfares of Santa Monica Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and Plummer Park and West Hollywood Park,” said Lt. Moulder. “Traditionally, these areas have the highest pedestrian traffic. The Teams contacted more than 100 people and provided the same number of masks to our Community. No citations were issued.”
A short face cover/mask operation was conducted on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, on Santa Monica Blvd between Hancock and Robertson with members of COPPS Team. The intent was to educate the public about the importance of wearing a face cover/mask. Deputies contacted approximately 5-10 people who were not wearing face covers/masks. They also provide 4 masks to people who did not have one. No citations were issued.
Lt Moulder says the response to mask enforcement has been positive. “While Team Deputies were walking the streets, they experienced tremendous positive feedback and overwhelming gratitude from the Community regarding the operation,” he said. “The Community appreciated the proactive approach to keep people safe and healthy.”
If someone sees a person without a face cover/mask, they can call West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station (310) 855-8850. A message will be sent to Patrol Units to see if there is an officer in the area to check. The majority of enforcement will be conducted by CIT Teams with dedicated operations.