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L.A. Sheriff Rejects County Vaccine Mandate for His Officers

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The sheriff of Los Angeles County reiterated this week that he wouldn’t compel members of his employees to be inoculated in opposition to the coronavirus, in defiance of the county’s order that every one of its 110,000 staff present proof of vaccination by Oct. 1.

“No, I am not forcing anyone,” stated Sheriff Alex Villanueva, after studying aloud a submitted query in a city hall-style occasion streamed reside on Facebook on Wednesday. “The issue has become so politicized there are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off rather than get vaccinated,” the sheriff stated, including that he couldn’t afford to lose any employees over the county mandate.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has greater than 10,000 officers and eight,000 civilian employees members. It has suffered at the least 18 coronavirus outbreaks, accounting for 334 instances, in line with an investigative report within the Los Angeles Times final month.

The defiance of Sheriff Villanueva — a politically divisive determine — underlines the issue of making an attempt to elevate lagging vaccination charges amongst regulation enforcement officers throughout the nation. In many cities, officers are apprehensive about dropping officers.

The New York Police Department, the nation’s largest, stated that 67 p.c of its employees have had at the least one dose. That’s regardless of a metropolis mandate that went into impact final month that requires metropolis staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. “I would be supportive of a vaccine mandate,” Dermot F. Shea, New York’s police commissioner, stated on Thursday throughout a information convention with Mayor Bill DeBlasio.

Other cities’ forces have far decrease vaccination charges. Memphis and Louisville just lately reported that fewer than half of its officers have been vaccinated.

The Fraternal Order of Police, a nationwide union that represents 356,000 officers, estimates that 724 officers have died from Covid-19 because the pandemic started.

In Los Angeles, Hilda Solis, the chair of the county’s board of supervisors, signed an govt order in August directing all county staff to indicate proof of a coronavirus vaccination by Oct. 1. The order didn’t present for a testing choice as another native governments have achieved.

Sheriff Villanueva’s refusal to implement that requirement is acquainted. In July, when Los Angeles County turned the primary main county to revert to requiring masks for all individuals indoors in public areas, he stated that his officers wouldn’t be imposing the mandate.

“Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted Covid-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science,” Sheriff Villanueva wrote in a press release on his web site, including that his division “will not expend our limited resources and instead ask for voluntary compliance.”