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Villanueva Responds To Criticism About Deputies Not Wearing Masks

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L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. (L.A. Sheriff's Department)
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L.A. Sheriff Alex Villanueva responded today to criticism that many of his deputies aren't wearing masks, saying it's "not easy," given all the gear they wear and carry as they respond to incidents in the heat of summer.

Inspector General Max Hunstman sent the Board of Supervisors a letter in which he chastised the Sheriff's Department for the many instances in which deputies have been seen or videotaped unmasked.

"It's our concern too, the use of the masks," Villanueva said during an online question-and-answer session today. "Deputies have been responding to fires, civil unrest and murder scenes ... in this extreme heat, there's a lot of concern about wearing the masks in addition to all the other restrictive gear the deputies are wearing."

Villanueva went on:

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"Between the vests, the 15-pound belts, helmets, shields, all these things, the physical exertion in the field, not easy. But they need to wear them whenever they can, that means when they're contacting civilians [and] citizens, when they're in buildings, they need to throw those masks on, and we're working hard to enforce that."

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