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LA Inspector General Says Sheriff’s Deputies Aren’t Following COVID-19 Mask Rules

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Sheriff's deputies -- some masked, some unmasked -- at a Father's Day protest of the killing of Andres Guardado. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)
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L.A. County Inspector General Max Huntsman says Sheriff’s deputies aren’t wearing masks as required.

“In numerous instances, Sheriff’s Department personnel have not complied with the state mandate requiring face coverings,” Huntsman wrote in an Aug. 21 letter to the County Board of Supervisors.

Huntsman specifically calls out what he said is a video that surfaced earlier in the month that shows deputies from the Santa Clarita station not wearing masks. “The internet is rife with other reported examples,” the letter reads.

Law enforcement officers from both the Sheriff’s Department and the LAPD have been seen not wearing masks in recent weeks.

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A Sheriff’s Department memo that went out mid-April mandated that employees wear a face covering when interacting with the public or other employees. There is an exception made for “a situation where a facial covering inhibits officer’s safety,”

According to the LASD website, as of Tuesday, 826 personnel have tested positive for COVID-19.

In response to Huntsman's letter, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement: "Public safety and the safety of my personnel are of the utmost concern to me. COVID-19 Notice #51 mandates Department personnel to wear a face covering. Department executives re-brief this requirement on a regular basis in an effort to maintain compliance."

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