WeHo Sheriff’s Face Cover / Mask Operation Starts with Distribution of Over 100 Masks and Zero Citations

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department released the results of the July 2, 2020, Face Cover / Mask Operation for the day when deputies were said to begin fining people who do not wear some form of face cover or mask while out in public in West Hollywood. Those who were hoping the police were finally cracking down on individuals who forget or refuse to cover their face while in public are in for disappointing results.

According to the report, zero citations were given yesterday. However, that does not mean the public is in complete compliance with the Los Angeles County Order to wear face coverings while outside the home. Instead of a hefty fine, people got off with a verbal warning and a free mask.

“The Teams contacted more than 100 people and provided the same number of masks to our community,” reads a statement from LASD WeHo Captain, Edward C. Ramirez, via the station’s social media. “No citations were issued.”

Due to urgent concerns about the spike in the COVID-19 infection rate and efforts to once again flatten the curve, it’s imperative that everyone does their part to use face coverings in public and maintaining social (physical) distance. Face coverings have been required in the City of West Hollywood since Saturday, May 23, 2020, when the Order went into effect.

The West Hollywood Station announced on Wednesday, July 1, that personnel may issue an Administrative Citation if someone refuses voluntary compliance to use a mask or other form of face covering.

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.

The results of 7/2/2020 West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station Face Cover / Mask Operation reads as follows:

“On Thursday, July 2, 2020, West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station conducted a face cover/mask operation, as part of our continuing efforts to “flatten the curve” of this Pandemic. The COVID-19 infection rate has been on the rise nationally and this week, there have been record high daily infection rate numbers. The Governor of California has issued an order for everyone in the State to wear a face cover/mask when in public, and the City of West Hollywood enacted a similar order. The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station have received numerous complaints by Community members regarding people not wearing face covers/masks while in public, in violation of the order.

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. 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.

While Team Deputies were walking the streets, they experienced tremendous positive feedback and overwhelming gratitude from the Community regarding the operation. The Community appreciated the proactive approach to keep people safe and healthy.

Edward C. Ramirez, Captain”

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When in public, people in West Hollywood should maintain social (physical) distancing of at least six feet and use a mask or face covering to adhere to City requirements. Public Health officials recommend a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both nose and mouth.

Face coverings are not required for young children under two-years-old. Children between two- and eight-years-old should only wear face coverings with adult supervision; and people with certain medical conditions are exempt from this requirement.

The City of West Hollywood encourages residents to remain home as much as is practical and limit close contact with others outside of a household. Additionally, people 65 years old or older and all people of any age with underlying health conditions should remain at home whenever possible; people in these categories should only leave their residences to seek medical care, exercise, or obtain food or other necessities.

For more information, please visit weho.org/coronavirus.

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