LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has eliminated its requirement that new employees get vaccinated against COVID-19.
A spokesman for the Las Vegas Police Protective Agency confirmed the news to 13 Action News on Tuesday.
Since the mandate's removal, union leaders were told LVMPD has seen more interest from prospective officers, said Steve Grammas, Metro detective and LVPPA president.
"We did not and do not support any mandates to be vaccinated for current or future officers," Grammas said.
LVMPD, by its own admission, has struggled with recruiting in recent years. The department averages approximately 900 officers per week working overtime, and saw a record number of officers and supervisors retire in 2020, Deputy Chief Kelly McMahill previously told 13 Action News.
Recruiters have been looking out of state, hosting hiring events in major cities like New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland and Seattle.
Leave the cold & snow for a warmer & welcoming city!— LVMPD (@LVMPD) December 21, 2021
We are headed to MN for on-site written testing for police, corrections, and lateral police officers!
🏢 Supportive local & state government
🚓 Excellent benefits
🤝 Community appreciation!
📲 https://t.co/4M8Bbq8Guv pic.twitter.com/yWOqvjTZzI
The union believes personal choice should not be "used against someone who is willing to serve this community," Grammas said. "If someone is willing to take this job and possibly sacrifice their own safety and well-being, we should not be stopping them over a vaccine."
"We are pleased that the Sheriff has decided to lift the mandate for new officers and hope too that the department will change their stance on other issues related to employees and vaccinations," Grammas said.