CALIFORNIA—Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are choosing early retirement, and being laid off over vaccine mandates as a result of the new Los Angeles County Vaccine mandate. Pursuant to Government Code section 8634 it requires all county employees provide proof of vaccination by October 1 or a negative COVID-19 test to keep their jobs.

The Chief Executive Order was signed by LA County Board of Supervisor Chair, Hilda Solis, with collaboration with the Office of County Counsel, the Department of Human Resources, and Public Health, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

The Department of Health (DPH) superseded recent mandates on September 17, for organizers of mega-events to require proof of vaccination or a negative test for planned events drawing a crowd of 10,000 or more people.

On Thursday, October 28, Sheriff Alex Villanueva issued the following statements at a town hall meeting calling the vaccine mandate, “An imminent threat to public safety.”

“A large part of our workforce who is close to retirement finds it easier to simply retire, rather than to be forced into a decision which should be a personal choice. Other personnel who were called “heroes,” for diligently working in service to their community during the pandemic, while other professions stayed home, have decided to finally get those surgeries they have been putting off for injuries sustained throughout their careers (knees, shoulders, back, etc.),” Villanueva added.

“The unintended consequence to public safety was predictable. In the near future, unless something changes, the ‘defunded’ and ‘de-staffed’ Sheriff’s Department will no longer be able to sustain the staffing levels required to maintain public safety at the status quo. My personnel already wear masks and would submit to routine COVID-19 testing so termination makes no sense. Personally, I am vaccinated and believe the vaccine works, but the choice to receive the vaccine is a personal one, and an individual who served the community tirelessly before there was a vaccine, should not now be fired because they made a decision about their own body,” said Sheriff Villanueva.

He encouraged the public to reach out to the LA Board of Supervisors if they’d like to comment on the vaccine mandates.

On October 25, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced via Twitter, “Effective November 8, 2021 @LACity will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter most public indoor places.”

Canyon News contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for a statement. Deputy Grace Medrano indicated that there were no further comments at this time.