Hesperia Unified school police are sporting a new look, following a warning from a state agency.


The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the California Department of Industrial Relations, sent a letter to district officials on Nov. 30, notifying them that Cal/OSHA had received a complaint that HUSD police officers weren't wearing reflective safety vests worn by other district crossing guards when directing traffic.


"At this time, the division does not intend to conduct an inspection of your workplace," the letter from Ayman Shiblak, the acting director of the San Bernardino office of DOSH, reads in part. "However, you are required to investigate the alleged conditions and notify this office ... whether the alleged conditions exist and, if so, specify the corrective actions you have taken and the estimated date when the corrections will be completed."


"We looked into it," Kathy Everhart, the district's assistant director of Risk and Benefits, said Friday. "It seemed like there was a misunderstanding when we talked to the police department. All of our proctors and crossing guards wear the vests."


The police officers were under the impression that they were exempt, due to their status as law enforcement personnel, Everhart said.


"'No, you still need to do it,'" she said she explained. "They're excluded if they're doing it real quick ... but if they're going to be doing it any extended period of time, they need to wear the vests."


The department already had the vests available and said they would begin using them immediately, any time officers would be involved in directing traffic for an extended period.


"The only time they won't be is if it's a real short period of time," Everhart said.