LA County sheriff doubles down on not enforcing vaccine mandate

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(CNN)Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva warned Tuesday of a imaginable nationalist information menace owed to a "mass exodus" of deputies from the section and blamed the county's vaccine mandate.

Villanueva accused the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors of mediocre policy-making and pointed to an executive order issued by the seat of the committee successful August that required each region employees to beryllium afloat vaccinated against Covid-19 no aboriginal than October 1.

Days aft the region deadline, Villanueva said helium wouldn't enforce the mandate.

More than a 4th   of LAPD and LAFD's sworn workforce stay  unvaccinated up  of city's vaccine deadline

"I don't privation to beryllium successful a presumption to suffer 5, 10% of my workforce overnight connected a vaccine mandate," Villanueva said past month.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employs astir 16,000 radical successful the nation's astir populous county, conscionable implicit fractional of whom are vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the department.

On Tuesday, Villanueva said lone astir 42% of the department's sworn unit person been vaccinated and 3,137 deputies are astatine hazard of termination owed to the mandate.

And, the sheriff said, galore unvaccinated deputies are voluntarily leaving the section to flight the vaccination requirement.

"Had (the Board of Supervisors) not talked each this nonsense astir the mandate, I astir apt would person gotten amended results astatine getting my employees vaccinated implicit time," Villanueva said.

According to Villanueva, the section typically sees conscionable implicit 500 retirements each year, but that fig is up to conscionable implicit 600 successful the past 12 months.

Coupled with an further 238 employees leaving the section for reasons different than retirement, Villanueva said the departures are "disrupting our quality to supply nationalist information services to Los Angeles County."

Many constabulary  unions are pushing backmost  connected  vaccine mandates. Here's why

But the Board of Supervisors said Villanueva's numbers are flawed and determination has been nary summation successful attrition since the vaccine mandate was implemented.

The numbers presented by Villanueva connected Tuesday compared October 2019-2020 to October 2020-2021. The Covid-19 vaccine mandate for region employees went into effect October 1 of this year.

"The LASD level of attrition implicit the past twelvemonth has been somewhat little than the wide County rate," the Executive Office of the Board said successful a connection to CNN. "There were 9 LASD retirements successful October, which is not considered a precocious number."

Villanueva could not supply an nonstop fig of employees departing arsenic a nonstop effect of the vaccine mandate, but said the inclination is being gleaned from worker exit interviews.

"While there's a antagonistic happening going toward instrumentality enforcement successful general, this could conscionable beryllium the straw that broke the camel's back," the sheriff said, acknowledging that determination whitethorn beryllium different reasons astatine play erstwhile it comes to losing staff.

Villanueva's disapproval of the vaccine mandate comes arsenic Covid-19 has go the leading origin of death among instrumentality enforcement, contempt it being among the archetypal groups eligible to person the vaccine astatine the extremity of 2020.

Five times arsenic  galore  constabulary  officers person  died from Covid-19 arsenic  from gunfire since commencement  of pandemic

County Supervisor Janice Hahn said Villanueva's vocal absorption to the mandate is putting his unit successful danger.

"Instead of implementing LA County's vaccine mandate (like each different County section has done successfully), helium is putting some his deputies and the nationalist they travel face-to-face with each time astatine unnecessary risk," Hahn said connected Twitter.

During his quality conference, Villanueva noted helium is vaccinated and prefers to "lead by example," alternatively than done mandates.

"Instead of being an obstacle," County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis said, "I promote the Sheriff to enactment with america and assistance supply acquisition and outreach to those who stay unvaccinated, truthful we tin guarantee their information and the wellness of those astir them, and yet enactment this pandemic down us."

Supervisor Kathryn Barger promised to enactment and perceive to the department's fertile and record to "get to the bottommost of what barriers and obstacles they are facing truthful we tin scope a resolution. Ultimately, we each stock a committedness to nationalist safety."

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

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