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Knox County Sheriff afraid vaccine mandate could deter new hires

Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler said he has dozens of open positions, but he can’t fill them.
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 8:56 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler said he has dozens of open positions, but he can’t fill them.

He’s worried President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate will only make things worse. He sent a letter to Biden on Monday, addressing what he feels is the unconstitutionality of a COVID vaccine requirement.

The KCSO is offering retention bonuses, lowering the age requirement from 21 to 19 for corrections officers and trying to recruit people from high school and college or technical school. But none of these measures have done the trick.

He has between 35 and 40 vacancies he needs to fill up to completely fill the 1,100 positions within the office.

Already being short-staffed, he said if they keep losing workers emergency response times will likely take longer, therefore putting the community at risk.

”I have to do two things right now, and it is to make sure that I take care of the employees’ safety within the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens out here in Knox County,” said Spangler.

He doesn’t expect a response from Biden, he just thought it was important to share his perspective.

If you are looking to join the sheriff’s office you can apply here.

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