LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Tuesday he won’t comply with a mandate requiring deputies be vaccinated against the coronavirus or face termination, claiming thousands could leave the department and that will lead to more crime.
His defiance to the order that was approved last summer by the LA County Board of Supervisors brought a rebuke from Janice Hahn, one of the panel’s five members who unanimously backed the policy.
“He is putting both his deputies and the public they come face-to-face with every day at unnecessary risk,” she said in a statement. “What we need from the sheriff right now is leadership, for once.”
Villanueva, who faces a reelection challenge next year, has defied other health orders during the pandemic. Last month, he said he wouldn’t have his deputies enforce a mandate requiring vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks at indoor public settings.
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