Los Angeles County sheriff doubles down on not enforcing vaccine mandate as he warns of mass exodus

Villanueva accused the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors of poor policy-making and pointed to an executive order issued by the chair of the board in August that required all county workers to be totally vaccinated towards Covid-19 no later than October 1.
Days after the county deadline, Villanueva stated he wouldn’t enforce the mandate.

“I do not need to be able to lose 5, 10% of my workforce in a single day on a vaccine mandate,” Villanueva stated final month.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division employs about 16,000 individuals within the nation’s most populous county, simply over half of whom are vaccinated towards Covid-19, based on the division.
On Tuesday, Villanueva said solely about 42% of the division’s sworn personnel have been vaccinated and three,137 deputies are liable to termination as a result of mandate.

And, the sheriff stated, many unvaccinated deputies are voluntarily leaving the division to flee the vaccination requirement.

“Had (the Board of Supervisors) not talked all this nonsense in regards to the mandate, I most likely would have gotten higher outcomes at getting my workers vaccinated over time,” Villanueva stated.

In accordance with Villanueva, the division usually sees simply over 500 retirements every year, however that quantity is as much as simply over 600 previously 12 months.

Coupled with a further 238 workers leaving the division for causes apart from retirement, Villanueva stated the departures are “disrupting our potential to supply public security companies to Los Angeles County.”

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However the Board of Supervisors stated Villanueva’s numbers are flawed and there was no improve in attrition because the vaccine mandate was carried out.

The numbers introduced by Villanueva on Tuesday in contrast October 2019-2020 to October 2020-2021. The Covid-19 vaccine mandate for county workers went into impact October 1 of this yr.

“The LASD stage of attrition over the previous yr has been barely decrease than the general County price,” the Government Workplace of the Board stated in a press release to CNN. “There have been 9 LASD retirements in October, which isn’t thought of a excessive quantity.”

Villanueva couldn’t present a precise variety of workers departing as a direct results of the vaccine mandate, however stated the development is being gleaned from worker exit interviews.

“Whereas there is a unfavorable factor going towards legislation enforcement on the whole, this might simply be the straw that broke the camel’s again,” the sheriff stated, acknowledging that there could also be different causes at play with regards to shedding workers.

Villanueva’s criticism of the vaccine mandate comes as Covid-19 has turn out to be the leading cause of death amongst legislation enforcement, regardless of it being among the many first teams eligible to obtain the vaccine on the finish of 2020.
Five times as many police officers have died from Covid-19 as from gunfire since start of pandemic

County Supervisor Janice Hahn stated Villanueva’s vocal opposition to the mandate is placing his workers in peril.

“As a substitute of implementing LA County’s vaccine mandate (like each different County division has accomplished efficiently), he’s placing each his deputies and the general public they arrive face-to-face with on daily basis at pointless threat,” Hahn stated on Twitter.

Throughout his information convention, Villanueva famous he’s vaccinated and prefers to “lead by instance,” moderately than via mandates.

“As a substitute of being an impediment,” County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis stated, “I encourage the Sheriff to work with us and assist present training and outreach to those that stay unvaccinated, so we are able to guarantee their security and the well being of these round them, and at last put this pandemic behind us.”

Supervisor Kathryn Barger promised to assist and hearken to the division’s rank and file to “unravel what boundaries and obstacles they’re going through so we are able to attain a decision. In the end, all of us share a dedication to public security.”

CNN’s Sarah Moon, Anna-Maja Rappard and Kelly McCleary contributed to this report.

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