San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Organization Warns Staffing Already at Critical Levels, And COVID Restrictions Could Remove 160 Good Officers
A vaccine mandate San Francisco has adopted could force more than 150 deputies to quit, according to the deputies’ union.
“The problem we are faced with now is the strict San Francisco Mandate, which is vaccinate or be terminated. If deputy sheriffs are forced to vaccinate, a percentage of them will retire early or seek employment elsewhere,” the San Franciso Deputy
Sheriff’s Association wrote in a Facebook post.
The post argued that those not vaccinated have good reasons.
“The majority of Deputy Sheriffs are vaccinated. Approximately 160 out 700 Deputy Sheriffs are not vaccinated prefer to mask and test weekly instead of being vaccinated due to religious and other beliefs,” the post stated.
The post noted that in the current climate, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office should want to avoid losing law enforcement officers at all costs.
“Currently, the staffing at the SFSO is at the lowest it has ever been due to the past 9-month applicant testing restriction placed on the Sheriff’s Office by the Mayor,” the post stated.
“San Francisco cannot afford to lose any more deputy sheriffs or any first responders. If they retire early or quit this will affect public safety even more. We would like San Francisco to be in alignment with the state guidelines which are require vaccination or test weekly.”
The post noted the union is not opposed to COVID-19 precautions.
“The SFDSA has always promoted Covid-19 Safety and has given out masks as well as face shields to first responders and the public during the peak of the pandemic. We believe the data and science speaks for itself and that masking works,” the post stated.
In July, the city gave its 35,000 workers until Sept. 15 to be vaccinated or be at risk for dismissal, according to Fox News.
“Religious and medical exemptions are allowed, but anyone seeking them could face “repercussions [that] go all the way up to termination,” Mawuli Tugbenyoh, chief of policy for the city’s Department of Human Resources, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
In response to the deputies union’s statement, the city pushed back.
“There is also an undue and unacceptable health and safety risk that is imposed upon the city, our employees and the public we serve, by those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19,” the city’s Department of Human Resources said in a statement, according to KGO-TV. “Vaccines are safe, effective and readily available to our employees.”
There was also some criticism on social media.
Their version: “SF Sheriff’s deputies threaten a wave of resignations over city’s vaccine mandate”
My version: “Hundreds of officers refuse to get vaccinated and place their community at risk”https://t.co/bRRfyhBdXk
— Joe Kent (@itsjoekent) August 7, 2021
But other users said the deputies were showing “guts.”
It takes guts to push back when your job is on the line, but what is the alternative? https://t.co/o9voC7owNh
— EagleNext Business Copywriting B2B (@EagleNextCopy) August 8, 2021
Currently, about 16 percent of the deputies, 17 percent of police officers and 9.5 percent of fire department employees were not vaccinated, according to figures KGO published that were initially published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Across all departments, the average rate for not being vaccinated was 7.7 percent.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.