TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — In less than a week, all unvaccinated county employees working with vulnerable populations will be terminated. When the County’s vaccine mandate was first put in place, the Pima County jails stood to lose the most employees, specifically corrections officers. Just a couple weeks ago, the County reported that there were 206 unvaccinated corrections officers, sergeants, and lieutenants. Now, Sheriff Chris Nanos says that number is down to 24.
“We believe the numbers are going to be significantly less,” Nanos said.
The Sheriff says this sudden drop comes from dozens of vaccinated employees who had not recorded their vaccination status in the county’s system. Pima County Human Resources did not have the right numbers, until today.
“We put out a direction today to our employees that said ‘Hey, if you’ve been vaccinated and you need to have it county before the 31st, you need to go into the County’s website and register yourself as being vaccinated,’” Nanos said.
The Sheriff says after two hours, almost a hundred employees registered as vaccinated. He’s hopeful more will show up before the county’s deadline on January 1st.
“Those numbers are dropping by the hour, I just hope we can get them down even lower,” Nanos said.
In the wake of potential terminations, the County has discussed reducing the jail population of “unnecessary incarcerations”.
“There are a number of people in jail who are there for low-level, misdemeanor, non-violent crimes," Nanos said. "We think using technology like ankle monitors can be a better solution, for not just the inmate, but for staff, and more importantly for the community.”
The Sheriff says even if these non-violent inmates stay in jail, he has enough employees to hold down the fort.
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