Marion County, Florida, Sheriff Billy Woods has ordered his deputies not wear masks while on duty or while working “special details and/or any special events.”
The Ocala Star-Banner reported Woods used an August 11, 2020, email to say, “My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn.” He added:
As for special details and/or any special events (paid or not), masks will not be worn. Effective immediately the entity that has requested and has hired a deputy for a special detail will be given clear instruction by Darian Tucker at the time of their written request that masks will not be worn (unless one of the exceptions above applies). In addition, if you are the special detail deputy you will again advise the contact person that a mask will not be worn by you.
Woods made clear visitors entering a Marion County Sheriff Office will also be asked to remove masks. He said, “In light of the current events when it comes to the sentiment and/or hatred toward law enforcement in our country today, this is being done to ensure there is clear communication and for identification purposes of any individual walking into a lobby.”
Woods made clear he knew he faced some degree of public pushback over the decision not to wear masks, but indicated his decision ultimately rested on his observation that “the amount of professionals” arguing in favor of masks are countered by “the exact same amount of professionals that say why we shouldn’t.”
MSN reports there are varying rules/policies for law enforcement wearing masks around the country, some of which are more stringent that others. However, they note Woods “is among the first law enforcement officials to outright ban masks for his deputies.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.