Despite Local Mask Mandate Sheriff BANS Employees From Using Face Masks–Says It’s ‘Not Up For Debate’

Written by K. Walker on August 13, 2020

This Sheriff says that masks are keeping law enforcement officers from effectively doing their jobs so he’s banning them.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods is of the opinion that officers who respond to a call for service need to ensure that their orders are clearly heard and a mask inhibits that clarity.

He’s not wrong.

In an email to staff obtained by the Ocala Star Banner, Sheriff Woods made his position on mask-wearing pretty clear–it’s not gonna happen while officers are on duty or representing the Sheriff’s Office.

This comes just after the city of Ocala issued an ordinance requiring face coverings inside of businesses.

As the city of Ocala wrestles with an ordinance requiring face coverings for people inside businesses, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told his employees they will not wear masks at work and visitors to his office can’t wear masks either.

Woods, in an email dated Aug. 11, said “my order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn.”

Ocala City Council passed an emergency ordinance last week requiring people to wear masks inside businesses. Mayor Kent Guinn vetoed it Monday and the council will meet Wednesday to consider overriding the veto.

Sheriff Woods has allowed some exemptions, however. When officers are attending court, jail, schools, or hospitals they can request an exemption.

Officers will be required to wear masks when responding to calls which will put them in contact with high-risk individuals like the elderly in their homes, responding to a call to a nursing home, or a “known COVID-19 address.” Otherwise, deputies will remain mask-free.

If they disobey his orders, there will be consequences. “This is no longer a debate nor is it up for discussion. Please keep in mind this entire pandemic is fluid and constantly changing the way things are done. However, my orders will be followed or my actions will be swift to address,” wrote Sheriff Woods.

“We can debate and argue all day of why and why not. The fact is, the amount of professionals that give the reason why we should, I can find the exact same amount of professionals that say why we shouldn’t. Since the beginning of this pandemic the operation of this office has not changed and no wearing of masks has been put in place,” he said.

However, public health officials at local, state and national levels consistently advise that there is clear and mounting evidence that face coverings properly used are among the best methods to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Woods said at 900 employees, “our number of cases so far has proven that the current way we are approaching the issue is working.”

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Sheriff Woods has also banned visitors to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office from wearing masks.

He wrote, “effective immediately, any individual walking in to any one of our lobbies (which includes the main office and all district offices) that is wearing a mask will be asked to remove it.” He added, “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.”

He addressed what would happen if someone refused to remove their mask. “If a person does not wish to remove the mask they will be asked to leave. If the individual is not comfortable with standing and waiting in the lobby with other individuals, politely ask for their cell number and advise them to stand outside or sit in their vehicle and you will text or call them with their completed transaction,” said the email.

The Daily Mail has noted that the leaked email has “sparked outrage” in the community because COVID cases are on the rise. It also notes that Marion County has reported more than 6,600 COVID with 102 deaths.

To put this in perspective, 6,600 is pretty close to the “official” number of nursing home deaths that the New York state government is not embarrassed to tout as a success in containing the virus. The real number is likely close to double that. But then, we’ve known that they’ve been officially cooking the books on nursing home deaths for months. But we’re talking positive cases in Marion County, Florida–not deaths.

It’s literally comparing apples to oranges.

Speaking of apples vs oranges…

Why is it that the media has applauded Governor “Grandma Killer” Cuomo(D-NY) and taken every opportunity to slag Governor Rick DeSantis(R-FL)?

Riddle me this, Media(D)…

If masks stop the virus, then why is COVID currently spreading like wildfire (sorry) in California when they’ve had a statewide mask mandate since June?

Maybe…just maybe the pre-COVID mask study was accurate after all. 

And look at that! Sheriff Woods is acting accordingly.

Don’t get angry, leftists, he’s just listening to the medical experts. After all, it’s science.

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker