Hermosa Beach adds staff to help police enforce face covering rule in crowded areas

Local news

Hermosa Beach is adding more workers to help police enforce the city’s face covering requirement in the more crowded parts of the city, officials announced.

Starting on Saturday, four code enforcement officers from a private consulting firm will be helping police impose the face covering ordinance which requires people to wear face masks at all times in downtown Hermosa Beach, Pier Plaza, all parks citywide, the Strand, the greenbelt and at the beach when out of the water.

“We welcome this additional assistance to help us enforce measures that can save lives and help us continue to re-open our local economy and businesses,” Hermosa Beach Police Chief Paul LeBaron said in a statement Thursday. “Protecting public safety is the Hermosa Beach Police Department’s first priority, and increased crowds and activity in our City, especially during the summer, require our officers to focus on criminal activity and nuisance behaviors that can jeopardize public safety.”

The urgency ordinance was approved by the City Council on July 28. Fines for violating the face mask requirements are $100 for the first offense, $200 for a second offense and $500 for all subsequent offenses within a 12-month period. 

The ordinance defines downtown Hermosa Beach as the area bounded by 10th Street on the south, 14th Street on the north, the Strand on the west and Hermosa Avenue on the east. It also includes Upper Pier Avenue from Hermosa Avenue to Valley Drive.

Exceptions to the requirements to wear a face mask when unable to maintain physical distance and when people are in crowded parts of the city include:

·     When a person is eating or drinking, or engaged in swimming or other water activities 

·     Children younger than age 2

·     Those instructed not to wear a cloth face covering by a medical provider are also exempt from wearing one. Individuals who are exempt from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition and who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their medical condition permits it. A drape that is form fitting under the chin is preferred.

·     Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

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