More than 1,300 employees in the Los Angeles Police Department are currently either recovering from COVID-19 or quarantining due to exposure to the virus, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday.
The LAPD has seen 910 new positive tests in the last 2 weeks, he added. That number includes 735 officers and 225 members of the department's support staff.
As of Jan. 6, 2022, the LAPD has about 9,500 sworn officers in its ranks.
The COVID infections and exposures have had "substantial impact" on police deployment, Moore told the Board of Police Commissioners during their Tuesday meeting.
"We're looking at contingency plans now, and monitoring the high number of employees out of work," he said.
On Jan. 4, when more than 400 LAPD officers and 200 LA City firefighters called-in sick that week, the firefighters who missed their shift due to illness caused an incremental delay in response times for medical and fire emergencies.
"We will have fewer resources to respond," City Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas told the I-Team at that time. "Therefore, we're going to have slightly longer response time."
The LAPD said at that time that they were "prepared to make adjustments to our staffing, including the reallocation of human resources in the event it becomes needed, however we are not at that point."
Two days later, when the LAPD had around 505 officers at home quarantining due to COVID, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference that police and fire department staffing levels were still adequate for keeping people safe.
Moore said he has not begun to cancel scheduled days off or vacation in the face of the current virus surge in the ranks, but said, "those levers are still very much available to us," even if it's an option he would like to avoid if possible.
As of the Dec. 18 deadline for compliance with the City of Los Angeles's employee vaccine mandate, just over 80% of the workforce was said to be fully vaccinated, city officials told the I-Team.
Some 244 full time employees, including six at the LAPD and approximately 95 at the Fire Department, had been placed on leave for failing to follow the mandate rules at that time.