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Supervisors back plan to address anticipated public safety officer shortages


(SAN DIEGO) — At the January 25 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisors Joel Anderson, who represents East County communities of District 2, and Jim Desmond, who represents the North County communities of District 5, presented a board letter urging the County to be prepared to face upcoming public safety personnel shortages throughout the region as vaccine mandates, retirements, recruitment and retention issues impact staffing levels.

The Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement to nine incorporated cities as well as the vast unincorporated area.  The Sheriff’s Department also plays an important regional role serving as the Regional Mutual Aid Coordinator. Under this role, deputies respond to assist cities during times of need, and have done so in response to civil unrest and riots occurring in El Cajon and La Mesa. Deputies assist if called upon by other law enforcement agencies to help with emergency evacuations and the Sheriff’s Department supports both incorporated and unincorporated areas of the County through regional services such as the crime lab, arial support to regional law enforcement agencies (ASTREA), special enforcement detail, bomb/arson, property and evidence, and search and rescue missions.

“I am glad that our Board of Supervisors took action today to ensure that people living in the County feel safe and protected, especially City of San Diego residents who may be losing hundreds of SDPD officers this year,” shared Anderson. He added, “I am thankful to my colleague, Supervisor Desmond, for partnering with me on this important and necessary step in keeping our communities safe.”

“Public safety is the number one priority for government. Families and communities must feel safe. With violent crime rising, it is imperative that San Diego County have the necessary public safety officers,” said Supervisor Desmond “These brave men and women have put themselves in harm’s way and now are looking at staffing shortages, which will lead to burnout. We must make sure they have all the tools to help them succeed.”

A San Diego Police Officers Association survey in September 2021, found that approximately ninety percent of San Diego Police officers surveyed oppose vaccine mandates and that forty-five percent would rather be fired than comply.

This statistic, paired with the fact that applications to SD Sheriff’s Department have decreased twenty-five percent during the past year and decreased thirty-six percent between 2018 and 2021, compelled Supervisors Anderson and Desmond to bring this motion forward.

The board instructed the Chief Administrative Officer to work with the Sheriff’s Dept. and return to the Board with practical updates and recommendations to address future public safety staffing shortages.



Source: La Mesa Currier

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