During a press conference at the Hall of Justice on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, Sheriff Alex Villanueva discussed the imminent threat that vaccine mandates will have on areas serviced by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Using a power point presentation, Sheriff Villanueva showed how deputies have begun to leave the department. From October 2019 through October 2020, there were 515 retirements. From October 2020 to October 2021, there were 617 retirements, a difference of 102 deputies who have filed for retirement. Many of those retiring have institutional knowledge and are experts in their fields with over 28 years of experience. Sheriff Villanueva shared that 238 sworn personnel have stated their interest in leaving the department.
Workers’ compensation claims are also on the rise and have increased by 21.9% this last year. He stated that from October 2019 to October 2020, there were 1,434 workers’ compensation claims and as of October 2020 to October 2021, there were 1,749, many attributed to the vaccine mandates.
As of today, 51.7% of the department’s personnel are fully vaccinated and 1.7% are semi-vaccinated. He stated the reason for the low vaccination numbers was due to many not having faith in the vaccine or the political ideology behind the vaccine.
Sheriff Villanueva cautioned that there are 4,185 staff members, both sworn and professional, who may be subject to termination because of the vaccine mandate; 3,137 of the 4,185 are sworn deputies.
The five counties that surround Los Angeles County do not have vaccine mandates and at least half of the department’s sworn personnel do not live in the County of Los Angeles. They can easily apply for employment in those counties.
Villanueva says vaccine mandates are an imminent threat to the safety of the communities the department serves. The department is in danger of losing a significant number of deputies and it would be detrimental to the safety of residents of Los Angeles County.