CALIFORNIA—In a press conference on Wednesday, March 9, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, announced hundreds of job vacancies due to efforts to defund the police and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors firing LA County employees not adhering to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

“Currently, there are 783 sworn vacancies in the department and that number is expected to grow to over 927 by April 1st due to personnel retiring. Deputies, Sergeants, and Lieutenants are critical positions that staff patrol stations, courts, and jail facilities,” said Sheriff Villanueva.


The LASD website lists job openings for civilians and law enforcement positions that include: Law Enforcement Technicians, Entry Level Reserve Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff Trainee. Mechanics are needed for refrigeration, helicopters, and the elevator. Positions such as senior cooks, locksmiths, and plumbers are listed on the website with other positions including administrative staff.

Currently, officers are taking extra shifts to help cover the lack of manpower.

The shortage of staff comes at a time when a crime is on the rise in Los Angeles County. Villanueva reported that firearms-related arrests have more than doubled from 2017 to 2021. Many of those were seized ghost guns, which are homemade semi-automatic weapons.

“Every arrest we make is one less crime that is going to occur. One less assault with a deadly weapon,” Villanueva explained.

There are currently 22 open positions at the crime lab causing a 3-month backlog in firearms and ballistic testing.

The loss of employees began soon after the George Floyd riots when defunding the police efforts began.

He cited Defund the Police efforts, in addition to the decision by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voting 4-0 in favor of the termination of 4,000 deputies on February 8. During the meeting, they focused on the public health order regarding COVID-19, and the termination of city workers including police and firefighters in non-compliance with COVID-19 mandates. Sheriff Villaneuva named last week’s conference “Consequences of Defund the Police.”