Local law enforcement seems to be saying, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
This week we learned that anything goes in L.A.
Turns out you can throw a party in a rented mansion while COVID-19 is soaring, and if the cops show up, they’ll let the bash rage until the wee hours.
Come to find out, one can also hold a secret party in a rented bar in Hollywood, and if the sheriffs show up, no need to sweat it — they just might be on the guestlist — allegedly.
Now you can get mad all you want. You can cry out, “but haven’t the lawmakers, the governors, the mayors, the health experts, and even the figureheads all agreed that we cannot be inside together in large groups, especially without masks?”
Isn’t this why we’re not at church this very moment?
Just yesterday the LA County Dept. of Public Health issued a new order saying no large gatherings. But what good is it if the people in blue and brown won’t enforce it?
Still you may ask, “why can you all party on Vine or Mulholland, but I’ve gotta eat my kebob in the damn parking garage at the Glendale Galleria?”
Is Johnny Law saying what it sure sounds like they’re saying? … Party?
Because if it is, it came with a smidge of foreshadowing.
Back in May, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes told the OC Board of Supervisors that his deputies would not be enforcing the face covering order.
“We are not the mask police — nor do I intend to be the mask police,” Barnes bluntly bellowed. “Orange County residents are adults,” he added to the dismay of the county’s suddenly confused minors.
Soon after those statements, deaths in Barnes’ county skyrocketed.
Apparently COVID-19 loves it when The Law announces it has better things to do with its time.
Notably there are some cities that have threatened both their residents and visitors that not wearing a mask while within their limits will result in fines. Glendale’s penalties range from $400 for the first violation to $2,000 for the third and Santa Monica’s start at $100 and go to $500 for the third violation. Beverly Hills’ fine soars to $500 for the third violation.
So what happened when the AirBnB mansion next door was spotted having a pool party with a DJ and a taco truck? Nada.
The neighbors complained, the news copters arrived, as did the LAPD. But for some reason, even though I personally witnessed four straight years during college at UC Santa Barbara where sheriff deputies found zero reasons not to shut down a party, LA’s cops find parties off-limits.
“We did come out here for the public disturbance calls. It was a private party, it was indoors. The main thing is…how do you enforce the fact that it’s a private party,” Lt. Chris Ramirez told KABC.
You show up and say “Coronavirus called us and said there were 100 people closely congregating without masks — during a pandemic — and because I love you, I am going to help you stop this reckless behavior.”
And if they resist, I will say, “I am de-funning this party.”
And I would eat the tacos and chill in the pool and invite all my other cop buddies over and not only would it have worked, but the night probably wouldn’t have ended in deadly gunfire.
But I get it. It’s tough to be a cop in L.A. with all the criticisms and marches and mixed messages coming from City Hall. And the sheriffs have their own problems.
Since nobody wants to be the mask police, I’ll do it.
To make six figures a year you need to make about $350 a day. Since no one wants to be the Mask Police, I will split the fines with the cities I cite the offenders in.
In West Hollywood the penalty for not wearing a mask is $300. Which means if I ticket just six people a day I will earn over $200k a year.
Tell me I can’t find six people in WeHo without a mask.
You don’t want to be the Mask Police? Allow me to deputize others under me and I will find the absolute correct people for each scenario. Big tough dudes for big tough dude parties. Super apologetic ones for Canadian tourists.
And currently unemployed Angelenos who would make more in a week than they’ve made all summer struggling with EDD.
Some might say, “well of course the law would enforce the law if they got paid $200,000 a year to do it.”
To which I would say, let’s pretend that none of them get that much salary (even though a lot more than you’d think do), isn’t the reason you get a job where the prime directive is to protect and serve, that there is no bigger threat to LA right now than this contagious disease that has shut down the school and is shuttering some businesses forever?
So yes, I am willing to be the Mask Police because I honestly love LA so much I am willing to get paid to help it stop being so self-destructive.
And something tells me I could find some willing people to deputize who share my love.