by Eric Lendrum
The sheriff of Los Angeles County warned last week that there could be a massive exodus of police officers and other emergency workers over the city’s demand that all public employees take a coronavirus vaccine, as reported by Breitbart.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that the mandate could drive out as many as 20 or 30 percent of employees in the sheriff’s office. The vaccine mandate was passed by the city council in August, ordering that all public employees of the county submit their vaccination status in order to keep their jobs. Those who do not submit a vaccination status will be ordered to get the vaccine within 45 days or else be suspended from work for five days; they are then given another 30 days to comply, after which further action would be taken if they still refuse to get the vaccine.
“I have repeatedly stated the dangers to public safety when 20%-30% of my workforce is no longer available to provide service,” said Villanueva, “and those dangers are quickly becoming a reality. We are experiencing an increase in unscheduled retirements, worker compensation claims, employees quitting, and a reduction in qualified applicants.”
Los Angeles County, like other police departments across the country, was already facing a massive amount of retirements and resignations following the widespread anti-police riots last year. After George Floyd, an African-American man, died of a fentanyl overdose while in police custody in Minneapolis, far-left domestic terrorist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa burned cities down and demanded that police departments be abolished, with a number of high-profile Democratic politicians adopting the mantra of “defund the police.”
“As a result,” Villanueva continued, “homicide rates will continue to rise, response times will increase, solve rates will diminish, arrests will decline, patrol services will significantly decline, and patrol stations will close.”
Villanueva noted that he himself was vaccinated, and “believe[s] the vaccine works,” but added that “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 own body.”
A recent report by the Los Angeles Times noted that, of the 9,656 “sworn personnel” in the sheriff’s office, “3,942 are fully vaccinated,” while 1,698 have not been vaccinated and another 1,369 “are seeking exemptions.” The combined total of the unvaccinated and those seeking exemptions, 3,067, accounts for about 32 percent of the sheriff’s office.
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Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.
Photo “Los Angeles County Sheriff” by National Sheriffs’ Association.