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Police Officers Await Exemption Decision

Six San Marino police officers are still awaiting a decision on their request for an accommodation in an effort to avoid the COVID-19 vaccine and City Manager Marcella Marlowe said a decision would probably be announced “within a month.”

In April, the San Marino City Council voted 4-1 to approve Resolution R-22-18, which implements a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees represented by the San Marino Police Officers Association. All six officers are still employed by the SMPD while they go through the accommodation process.

In the event San Marino must bolster its staff due to the possible loss of officers resulting from denials of the accommodation requests, Police Chief John Incontro said on Tuesday that “a slight possibility remains” that the city will contract with one of two security firms that have done extensive work for the city of Beverly Hills. The companies — Covered Six and Nastec — have provided supplemental patrol forces for “observe-and-report” policing.

Incontro said that both companies are partially staffed by retired police officers or military police and that the officers would work in areas such as Mission Street and the San Marino schools.

He said that the officers would help out with traffic control, searches and impounds and the transportation of suspects. The contracted officers would not participate in traffic stops.

Incontro said the security officers, if retained, would reduce the time police officers would be tied up with normal operations. The officers would not pursue or engage suspects.

He also said that Covered Six has Mandarin-speaking officers who the firm said they will try to deploy in San Marino if they are retained. He said that all officers from Covered Six and Nastec would be fully vaccinated, would bring their own vehicles and be fully insured.

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