L.A. County Sheriff Pushes County Leaders to Reconsider Vaccine Mandates
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva challenged the county’s board of supervisors to reconsider the mandate for county employees to receive the experimental vaccine for COVID-19. Thus far, Villanueva has refused to enforce the vaccine mandate. Employees would have had to show proof of vaccination by November 1.
In a letter dated October 28, Villanueva announced to the county board that he did not intend to enforce the vaccine mandate in his department calling it “an imminent threat to public safety.”
“If I were to follow your mandate, I could potentially lose 44 percent of my workforce in one day,” Villanueva informed the board. “I cannot enforce reckless mandates that put the public’s safety at risk.”
Villanueva, a Democrat, oversees the country’s largest sheriff department with more than 18,000 employees, and he blames the county vaccine mandate for an uptick in departures from the department this year.
According to Villanueva, the department is already understaffed. $145 million in cuts were made to this year’s Sheriff’s Department budget — a victim of “woke” politics in the aftermath of 2020’s unrest from Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Now, the sheriff believes that the county’s unreasonable vaccine mandate is causing even more attrition in the department.
“I have a 20 percent increase in people that are putting in to retire early,” Villanueva told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “Another 300 plus are filing worker’s compensation claims, that’s a 22 percent increase. I have 236 deputies that are now applying for out-of-county jobs that do not have vaccine mandates.”
“I have 1,600 potential people that have 28 years or more of service,” Villaneuva said. “They could just walk away and not lose a penny and not even look back, and that is a huge threat to the department which is already severely understaffed.”
The sheriff also blames the “woke” politics of the county Board of Supervisors for the department’s staffing woes.
“The only one entity that is steadfast in defunding in the entire nation is the L.A. County Board of Supervisors,” he said. “They have a very weird group of people that are in charge. They worship at the altar of ‘wokeism’ and they don’t understand that their own community is saying ‘no.’”
It’s estimated that the department could lose up to 1,000 employees to voluntary retirement along with injury claims. Should the mandate be enforced, the department could lose an additional 3,100 deputies and detectives along with more than a 1,000 support staff unless they knuckle under and get the experimental vaccine.
Not surprisingly, board members disagreed with the sheriff: “The No. 1 killer of law enforcement officers nationwide this past year has been COVID,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Instead of implementing L.A. County’s vaccine mandate (like every other county department has done successfully), he is putting both his deputies and the public they come face-to-face with every day at unnecessary risk. What we need from the sheriff right now is leadership, for once.”
In a statement, Supervisor Kathryn Barger claimed that Villanueva “won’t engage in dialogue with me to figure out a solution.”
The Board of Supervisors passed the vaccine mandate on August 10. As of Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Department reports that 57 percent of all employees were vaccinated, with that number dropping to 43 percent of sworn staff (deputies and detectives) being vaccinated. Villanueva himself has been vaccinated and personally encourages staff to get vaccinated but doesn’t feel they should be forced to receive the experimental shot.
Simply hiring new employees who are not reluctant to take the shot is not an option, according to Villanueva: “It takes me almost a year-and-a-half to replace an entry level worker,” the sheriff explained. “To replace a veteran, 30-year expert in whatever capacity.… Those are decades to replace someone like that.”
“I guarantee you, homicides will go up. A lot of things will go up, and response times are going to get longer and longer,” Villanueva warned.
Whether it’s New York, Chicago, Los Angeles County, or any other large metropolitan area in the United States, the pushback against government mandates on the experimental COVID-19 vaccines in the law-enforcement community is strong. Governments are overstepping their authority and the people who know the law are pushing back.
Published at Wed, 03 Nov 2021 17:44:04 +0000