At least 6 Leesburg police resignations partially caused by vaccine mandate

Vaccine mandates brought members of the Leesburg Police Department to a council meeting with threats of mass exits in October. The department and the city have since confirmed that they have started to see these resignations.

Betsy Arnett, a spokesperson for Leesburg, Virginia, told WTOP that six of the resignations were assumed to be partially caused by the vaccine mandate.

“Two of those who held sworn positions in the police department already had job offers ahead of the mandate,” Arnett added, “so we shouldn’t assume that all of these resignations are due to the mandate.”

While Arnett couldn’t confirm if the mandate played a role on Sunday, the spokesperson did note that there were 11 resignations since Oct. 12, when the mandate initially took effect.

According to Arnett, this number included four positions that were not in the police department and couldn’t be connected directly to the mandate.


Read More: Man’s death while in Leesburg Police custody launches investigation


WTOP was able to confirm 19 positions on the force remained open, with 18 of those positions noted as sworn officer roles. The other position is an administrative or dispatcher role in the department.

Five of those positions, according to officials, remained open due to a hiring freeze across the city caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, a spokesperson for the department confirmed that several planned retirements for 2020 and 2021 contributed to the vacancies.

The department added that they have “several qualified applicants in varying stages” of the department’s sworn hiring process. Gregory Brown, Leesburg’s chief of police, also said that the department is constantly reviewing staffing assignments in the area “to ensure they can meet their mission.”

“Due to a variety of factors, law enforcement agencies nationwide are currently facing staffing shortages,” Brown said. “While in recent years we have experienced a relatively low attrition rate, we too have recently been affected by staffing shortages.”

The Leesburg Police Department said that it has been actively recruiting for officer positions using various methods. Those interested in applying are encouraged to contact the department at it’s recruiting website.


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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