Los Angeles County Sheriff Warns Of “Mass Exodus” Of Employees Because Of Vaccination Mandate
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has warned public safety will be threatened by a “mass exodus” of employees from his department caused by the vaccination mandate.
Villanueva previously said he would not enforce the mandate. However, he addressed the issue again on his social media last week.
“I have repeatedly stated the dangers to public safety when 20%-30% of my workforce is no longer available to provide service, and those dangers are quickly becoming a reality,” Villanueva wrote. “We are experiencing an increase in unscheduled retirements, worker compensation claims, employees quitting, and a reduction in qualified applicants.”
He predicted homicide rates in the county would continue to rise, response times would increase, and patrol services would decline.
“With the pandemic waning, there is no justification for the Board mandate,” Villanueva said. “It is like putting up the storm windows after the storm has passed.”
The County Board of Supervisors issued its vaccination executive order in August. All Los Angeles County employees were required to register vaccination status by Oct. 1. Religious and medical exceptions are allowed by the order.
“The county expects all department heads to encourage their employees to register as an important public health measure to protect workers and the public we serve,” county spokeman Michael Wilson said to the Los Angeles Times. “The vaccination policy is intended to save lives, not to punish employees based on their vaccination status.”
Villanueva said department personnel already wear masks and submit to regular Covid-19 testing.
“Personally, I am vaccinated and believe the vaccine works,” he said. “But the choice to receive the vaccine is a personal one, and an individual who served the community tirelessly before there was a vaccine should not now be fired because they made a decision about their body.”
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