Metro committee advances motion requiring contracted police to be vaccinated

A Metro Board of Directors committee today advanced a motion to require the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Long Beach and Los Angeles police departments to enforce vaccination mandates by July 2022 or lose their contracts with Metro.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said he will not force his deputies to get vaccinated under the county’s vaccine mandate for employees.

On Nov. 3, just 42.8% of sworn sheriff’s department personnel was vaccinated.

The requirement to have agencies enforce vaccination mandates was introduced by Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn as an amendment to a motion to extend policing contracts for an additional six months, through December 2022. The amendment was unanimously approved by the Operations, Safety and Customer Experience Committee, and the motion was advanced to the Board of Directors, which will consider it on Dec. 2.

“This is about safety and consistency. We are not requiring Metro riders to be vaccinated, so we need to make sure the people who we have interact with them are vaccinated to keep everyone safe,” Hahn said in a statement Thursday. “Metro is already requiring all of its bus drivers and train operators to get vaccinated, so it makes sense that we would require our law enforcement agencies to do the same.”

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore is enforcing the city’s vaccination mandate which requires all municipal employees to get vaccinated by Dec. 18. As of Tuesday, 77% of the department was fully vaccinated.

Long Beach has also enacted a vaccination mandate for employees, but information was not immediately available regarding enforcement and the percentage of inoculated officers.

As of Nov. 9, 54% of Long Beach police officers had shown proof of vaccination. Long Beach has said its city employees must get vaccinated unless they receive an approved exemption, but officials haven’t announced a deadline for that mandate.

Breaking News Editor Jeremiah Dobruck contributed to this story.

Police and firefighters report lowest vaccination rates among Long Beach employees

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