County Supervisors Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond have sent a letter to their colleagues on the board urging them to address an expected shortage of public safety officers. The shortage of officers is a result of the COVID vaccination requirement for officers.
Anderson spoke with KUSI to discuss the letter, saying that many officers anticipate being fired, “We have at least 160 SDPD officers who are going to be fired and then we have another 478 officers that are asking for exemptions”. Anderson continued saying, “You’re looking at almost 600 officers off the job, and that could potentially create a public safety crisis.” Anderson also said that his letter included the retention policy in San Diego county, saying he feared the possibility of officers leaving and there being no help left for unincorporated areas. Anderson is also worried that the loss in officers could bring even more rise to crime, as crime has been on the rise in many big cities including San Diego.
Supervisor Jim Desmond joined Supervisor Anderson in the letter and expressed similar sentiments. Desmond highlighted the increase in retirements among sheriff deputies over the past two years along with the lack of new applicants to the department, “In the last year or two we’ve had a lot of retirements and we haven’t had that many people apply for these jobs, so we’re trying to get ahead of the curve and make sure we have enough public safety officers”. According to SANDAG in a report published in September 2021, the annualized violent crime rate was 3.64 per 1,000. An increase from 3.20 in 2020.
At a time when law enforcement needs the support of politicians and the public, the politicians are doing the complete opposite. With crime increasing not just in San Diego but the rest of the state, we need more law enforcement protecting the citizens, not less.
Photo Cred: Office of Supervisor Joel Anderson