Board of Supervisors Gives Go Ahead On Response to Possible Officer Shortage

Written by Sasha Reva

Yesterday, County supervisors voted unanimously to create plans to address Sheriff’s Department staffing shortages.

This comes just a day after Supervisors Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond sent a letter to their board colleagues regarding the possible shortage of officers. In their letter they said, “Some of these officers and deputies are now at risk of losing their jobs due to government-mandated vaccination requirements.” They also requested Helen Robbins-Meyer, chief administrative officer, to return within 180 days with updates and recommendations. 

According to data cited in the letter from Anderson and Desmond, applications to the Sheriff’s Department have decreased 25% during the past year, and decreased 36% between 2018 and 2021. The numbers of crimes are rising extremely fast.

“It’s so important those deputies are there for us when we need them most,” Anderson said. “These brave men and women have put themselves in harm’s way and now are looking at staffing shortages, which will lead to burnout,” Desmond added. “We must make sure they have all the tools to help them succeed.”

Public Safety is No. 1 priority for the government and since we have a huge rise in crime, “it is imperative that San Diego County have the necessary public safety officers,” Desmond said.

Vargas said the board letter was “a little premature,” even though she voted yes on Item 17. “Our Sheriff’s Department has been under scrutiny, and rightfully so,” Vargas said. She believes that we need big changes in criminal justice and policing systems.

Vargas also said that the new sheriff should be the one to dictate the department’s mission. Supervisors will meet in March to choose a temporary replacement for Bill Gore’s position after Gore announced his retirement.

Photo Cred: County News Center