LOS ANGELES — Police in large cities nationwide are resisting vaccine mandates imposed on public employees, NPR reports.
Among the defiant is the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Alex Villanueva, a Democrat, stated earlier this month that he would not be enforcing the vaccine mandate against his employees out of concern that 5 to 10 percent of his officers would be laid off — a number Villanueva rightly insinuates to be unsustainable in the face of the numerous crises plaguing L.A. County.
This was echoed by State Police Association of Massachusetts president Michael Cherven, who stated in response to Gov. Charlie Baker’s vaccine mandate that “Critically low staffing is the single largest threat to public safety today … we are in dire need of courageous leadership that places public safety above politics.”
Of course, Cherven and Villanueva are right about all of this. Vaccine mandates are a means of political ego-stroking by nature, and their enforcement in both the public and private sectors is only bound to exacerbate preexisting labor shortages.
That’s not how leftist intelligentsia sees this. Instead, they view themselves as our sole arbiters of security and goodwill, and police departments resisting the mandates as benign obstacles to the public’s subjection to their great benevolence. For example, the NPR article reads:
As vaccine mandates for public employees begin to take effect across the country, police officers and the unions that represent them are putting up a fight, frustrating officials who say their goal is to minimize deaths as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.
“More police officers die of COVID than they do in other causes of death, so it doesn’t make any sense to not try to protect yourself as well as the colleagues that you work with,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
More than 230 police officers in the U.S. have died of COVID-19 so far in 2021, more than quadruple the number of deaths by gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a group that tracks on-duty police deaths. Last year, the coronavirus killed nearly 250 officers nationwide, including four in Chicago.
“I want to make sure that our officers who are literally working their tails off every single day, risking life and limb, are absolutely able to take advantage of this lifesaving vaccine,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday.
Of course, public policy ramifications go unconsidered in all of this.
Enacting mandates with the potential to leave 10 percent of police in big cities unemployed makes no sense. Especially given the fact that these mayors have seen the upticks in crime directly caused by their attempts at so-called “police reform.” It turns out that when Democrat politicians are openly dissuading cops from doing their jobs, people take advantage of it — and when they’re using vaccine mandates to lay cops off outright, they’re only exacerbating the impotence that they’ve already imposed upon them.
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