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OSP Superintendent Criticizes Officers Who Refused To Wear Masks In Coffee Shop

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Oregon State Police
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The Superintendent of the Oregon State Police is criticizing the actions of several troopers who refused to wear face coverings at a Corvallis coffee shop.

The officers entered the shop on the first morning face coverings were required in all indoor public places in Oregon.

According to the Oregonian, an employee at the shop informed the troopers of the policy, but they refused. The employee says an officer then used an expletive to refer to Governor Kate Brown.

The face covering mandate does not apply when a customer of a restaurant is actively eating or drinking, but https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5tPeEdtkvw">security camera footage provided to the Oregonian showed the officers without a mask while ordering and then standing around waiting for their drinks.

The paper reports that at least one of the troopers has been placed on administrative leave. State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said on social media that the conduct of the officers was “embarrassing and indefensible.”

"Let me be clear, Oregon State Police Troopers are not above the law and this conduct is being immediately addressed," wrote Hampton. "As the leader of the Oregon State Police, I would like to offer my apology to the coffee shop employees and the community."

Separately, Gov. Brown announced https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWpnX-fEq2U">a statewide public awareness campaign Thursday to encourage Oregonians to wear face coverings when going out in public. Public health officials say wearing a covering can slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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