Bay Area police departments experience staffing shortages amid omicron surge

Some Bay Area police departments are dealing with staffing shortages during the omicron surge and are having to make adjustments to keep officers out on patrol.
Some Bay Area police departments are dealing with staffing shortages during the omicron surge and are having to make adjustments to keep officers out on patrol. Photo credit Getty Images

Some Bay Area police departments are dealing with staffing shortages during the omicron surge and are having to make adjustments to keep officers out on patrol.

Police departments are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases and Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said their station is being impacted by the current surge.

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"We have been able to manage those vacancies that we've seen as a result of individuals being sick, and I do hope that at the end of the month we will see this surge start to subside a little and we can get back to normal, but I think we are being impacted like most agencies," Armstrong told KCBS Radio.

Chief Armstrong said as part of their COVID-19 contingency plan they have moved officers from desk jobs out on patrol.

"We have moved some officers from the building out into the field to fill those beats, but it is always helpful when you have a fairly high vaccination rate," he said. "Our vaccination rate is around 97% so, the vast majority of our staff is vaccinated and that gets them back to work a lot faster."

The San Jose Police Department is also experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, to the point that the patrol unit is struggling to maintain minimum staffing, and commanders are reportedly asking all officers to voluntarily step up to work patrol over the holiday weekend.