COVID-19 is having a 'substantial impact' on law enforcement deployment in Los Angeles
The coronavirus is working its way through the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, with LAPD Chief Michel Moore saying COVID-19 is having "a substantial impact on our deployment."
Between both departments, roughly 2,500 employees are either out sick with COVID-19 or in quarantine because of the virus, the Los Angeles Times reports. Moore said on Tuesday that 83 percent of his staff is vaccinated, and there has been a surge in breakthrough cases. "What we're following very closely is this impact on our deployment numbers as we approach the Super Bowl week of celebration and events here," he told reporters, adding that the department is "looking at contingency planning."
The LAPD has about 12,200 sworn and civilian personnel, and Moore said "you can absolutely see the surge in this pandemic and this variant, where over a four-week period, we had just under 2,000 of our personnel become COVID positive." Despite the high absence rate, Moore said the department hasn't yet had to ask officers to work on their days off, but "those levers are still very much available to us."
Since the beginning of the pandemic in spring 2020, 5,083 sworn and civilian personnel with the LAPD have tested positive for the coronavirus. For employees who get sick now, on average, an officer who gets COVID-19 misses 20 days of work, and a civilian employee misses 33 days, the Times reports.
While the LAPD is starting termination proceedings for employees who won't get vaccinated and don't have a religious or medical exemption, Sheriff Alex Villanueva has refused to follow Los Angeles County's vaccine mandate, claiming that if he enforces it, the department will see mass resignations.