Letters to the Editor: We're not paying cops $105,000 per year to refuse vaccination

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LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 14, 2021: A member of the LAPD makes his way into their headquarters on 1st St. in downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles will officially require its city workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the vaccination and reporting rules become "conditions of city employment," according to its ordinance. But it remains unclear what will happen to those who have refused to get the shots. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
An LAPD officer walks toward department headquarters in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 14. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In 1957, the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police adopted a Law Enforcement Code of Ethics that the officers fighting the city of Los Angeles' COVID-19 vaccine mandate are violating. The code states: "As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property. ... I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendship to influence my decisions."

In California, the average police officer salary is almost $105,000, and officers are not required to have a college degree. In Los Angeles, pensions top out at 90% of final average salary at 33 years of service.

If police officers don't want to serve and safeguard by getting vaccinated against COVID-19, they should either quit or be fired. Let others consider this lucrative career and pension without accumulating a huge college debt.

Carla Bollinger, Newbury Park

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To the editor: The U.S. military has recognized the longstanding problem of far-right extremism in its ranks and is doing something about it. The danger became clear with the recognition that many of the people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were veterans or current service members.

It is time to recognize the extent to which far-right extremism exists within our civilian emergency services. The large numbers who strenuously oppose vaccination indicate that this sort of extremism is widespread.

Like our military, local police forces have a responsibility to be the guardians of democracy. That so many officers have anti-government leanings constitutes a dangerous situation.

Being members of a civilization means that we are not free to host and pass on a serious disease, especially to people we are intended to serve. It also means accepting limits that apply to our individual behavior.

Marcia Goldstein, Laguna Woods

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To the editor: Two headlines in The Times caught my attention. One reported that 99% of teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District met the vaccination deadline, and the other was about police fighting the city's vaccine mandate.

Any teacher knows that to maintain order in a classroom, it is imperative for everyone to follow the rules and for teachers to set a good example.

Police claim that maintaining law and order is their job. Yet when it comes to the vaccine mandate, some flagrantly disobey the rules. Are we to follow their example as to obeying the law?

Danute Handy, Santa Barbara

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.