San Francisco sheriffs' union says deputies may quit over vaccine mandate

The union representing San Francisco sheriff's deputies is pushing back against a city mandate requiring all city workers be vaccinated.

The union posted on Facebook a picture of a woman hanging out of a Cadillac while armed with AK-74 and wrote, "Public safety of San Francisco has turned into the Wild West and will get worse when officers quit due to the vaccine mandate."

Ken Lomba, president of the San Francisco Deputy Sheriff's Association said some employees have threatened to walk.

"This mandate is so strict, we have employees that are going to quit," he said.

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Lomba said some law enforcement officers are refusing to take the vaccine for medical, religious or other reasons. He adds that forcing officers to do so is unfair.

"We would like it to be the same as the state, the same as the surrounding counties— require to vaccinate, or test," Lomba said.

The union says about 18% of its 850 sworn deputies aren't vaccinated.

Under the city's mandate, deputies who are assigned to high-risk spots like Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital or the jails need to be vaccinated by Sept. 15.

Other deputies assigned as court bailiffs and at City Hall would have to be vaccinated within 10 weeks of final FDA approval, which would probably be later in the fall.

"We obviously encourage everyone to vaccinate and are consistent with the city's plans," said Sheriff Paul Miyamoto.

But Miyamoto confirmed that deputies who refuse shots could be disciplined and could risk termination.

"They're welcome to express their opinion," the sheriff said. "I do want to make sure that we continue on the path we're on, which is to keep people educated as to what the processes are going to be for the city.

Over at the San Francisco Police Department, about 17% of employees are not vaccinated. The city says vaccines are the best tools to keep everyone safe and that about 70% of its workforce is fully vaccinated.