(Big League Politics) – The Los Angeles County sheriff said he will not enforce the county’s vaccine mandate on police in his agency, ABC reported.
On Wednesday Sheriff Alex Villanueva, leading the largest sheriff’s department in the county with about 18,000 employees, said in a Facebook Live event that he does not plan to carry out the county’s mandate, under which Los Angeles County employees had to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.
The Sheriff began by mentioning that while he would not force any police officer to take the COVID-19 shot, they are still required to wear masks when on the job. Medical and religious exemptions for the inoculation were discussed, with Villaneuva encouraging officers to apply for those exceptions regardless of his decision to not enforce the measure.
The arguably unconstitutional mandate was passed by executive order in August. Villanueva said that he would not be enforcing the new rule, saying “No, I’m not forcing anyone. The issue has become so politicized there are entire groups of employees who are willing to be fired and laid off for having to get vaccinated. So I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate.”
Sheriff Villanueva also mentioned that the police department is undergoing issues from lack of funding as well, and suggested that the combination of low funds and mass firings would be devastating to the department.
Compliance among various vaccine mandates issued to police around the country remains fairly split, with officers in many precincts taking the shot at a lower rate than the general population. The choice of these cops has enraged many in the media, with numerous outlets attacking the police for not falling in line.