L.A. police and fire agencies are doing their utmost to manage the spread of the coronavirus while many officers stand up to COVID-19 mandates.
Many industries are prone to coronavirus outbreaks, and law enforcement agencies are no exception, representing 9% of total workplace outbreaks. Los Angeles County health officials pointed to data identifying hundreds of outbreaks at police and fire agencies.
According to the department’s internal data, 1,061 coronavirus cases out of 3,126 total LAPD personnel cases were linked to workplace outbreaks.
In response to accusations, LAPD and LAFD said they have taken precautions to prevent outbreaks and protect employees.
LAPD spokesman Capt. Stacy Spell told the LA Times that whenever outbreaks have occurred at LAPD facilities, the department has “ensured clean ups or decontamination efforts were made” and that exposed employees filled out reports to confirm exposure.
Meanwhile, LAFD spokeswoman Cheryl Getuiza said the fire department has “taken proactive measures to minimize the likelihood of an outbreak” at its stations by issuing reminders about hygiene and instituting new rules regarding masking and social distancing.
The fire agency said they manage outbreaks by isolating and treating infected members and decontaminating equipment and the work area.
The L.A. County Health Department added that they are working closely with fire and police departments “to ensure they understand how to implement COVID-19 infection control requirements and recommendations.”
At the same time, police and fire departments maintain a high rate of resistance to vaccines and vaccine mandates.
According to the LA Times, a city government source said that thousands of LAPD employees will seek exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
More than 2,600 LAPD employees have indicated that they will pursue religious exemptions, with more than 350 planning to seek medical exemptions.
Clearly, vaccine opposition isn’t resting well with city officials.
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer emailed LAPD Chief Michel Moore regarding outbreaks in the agency, hinting at city officials’ frustration.
“I wanted to let you know that our outbreak management team is concerned with the recent increases (since the end of November) in outbreaks at different LAPD stations,” Ferrer wrote.
“Would it be helpful if our team met with folks at LAPD to review the guidance?” she asked.
Moore responded curtly: “We’ve been doing site inspections with our City medical services team and the reports I’ve received from them and your inspections have been a marked improvement. Always welcome input and recommendations,” he wrote.