LAPD fires unvaccinated officer with 7 more layoffs pending

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Police Department fired one of its own on Tuesday for failing to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, and several other officers face the same fate.

LAPD Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala announced the disciplinary action Tuesday, noting that termination proceedings are pending for seven other officers. The city passed one of the toughest employee vaccination mandates in the nation last year, and LAPD management has spent months warning officers they’ll lose their jobs if they don’t follow the mandate. .

The LAPD’s position stands in stark contrast to that of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, where management announced there would be no enforcement of the county employee vaccination mandate. As a result, the sheriff’s department has a much lower vaccination rate, and on Tuesday the county board of supervisors voted to usurp the sheriff’s disciplinary authority to begin disciplining deputies who don’t follow the warrant.

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The county’s vaccination mandate has already led to nearly 500 employee layoffs in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The vaccination mandates have sparked widespread outrage among people who argue they overstep government authority.

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Among police officers, 10,216 LAPD employees, or 82.9% of the department, are fully vaccinated, 0.5% are partially vaccinated and 16.6% are unvaccinated, Girmala told the Los Angeles Police Commission. .

She added that 460 employees have requested medical exemptions and 1,831 have requested religious exemptions from the mandate.

One person who was not vaccinated was fired after a rights commission process, and seven more layoffs are pending, Girmala said.

The vaccination mandate was approved by the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti and passed on August 18. All city employees had to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 18 or apply for a religious or medical exemption, which is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. – case by case. Exempt employees must submit to weekly testing at the city’s expense.

Employees have five working days to file an appeal if their exemption is denied. If they do not appeal the decision, they receive a notice informing them that they must present proof of vaccination. Failure to do so results in “corrective action”.

According to the mandate, employees who fail to comply can resign or retire “all in good standing in lieu of disciplinary action.” These employees can be rehired if they get vaccinated or if the vaccination order is lifted, depending on the requirement.

City and Patch News Service member Paige Austin contributed to this report.

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