SAN DIEGO — Mayor Kevin Faulconer Monday issued an executive order declaring San Diego municipal employees disaster workers.
“This action puts the city of San Diego’s workforce, which is more than 11,000 strong, able to carry out work under the California Emergency Services Act,” Faulconer said at a news conference at City Hall. “With this designation, any disaster service worker, regardless of their formal classification or assignment as a city employee, can assist the efforts to protect life and property, support the city’s emergency operations center, and mitigate the effects of the emergency.”
Faulconer said some city employees have already been deployed to enforce new COVID-19 related regulations at beaches, parks and trails, such as code enforcement officers helping parks and recreation staff educate the public regarding the closures.
The order will also allow city library employees to assist with supply distribution and food delivery at local hospitals.
Faulconer said it was a “very proactive step that will help give the city of San Diego the flexibility and the capability to handle whatever may come our way especially as we prepare for a surge of cases and activity in the future.”
The mayor also announced actions meant to streamline the delivery of medical supplies in the city, extending building permits and waiving certain fees during the coronavirus crisis.
Faulconer also said that another San Diego police officer has tested positive for coronavirus. As of Monday, a total of seven public safety officer have come down with the virus, including two police officers, four lifeguards and one firefighter, he said.
“Our public safety professionals go to work for you, so we ask you to stay at home for them,” Faulconer said.
The San Diego firefighter, lifeguard, and police academies will have to be postponed, despite a “historic shortage” in police officers, Faulconer said.
Mayor Faulconer reiterated the importance of staying home. Over the weekend, despite the warm weather, no citations were issued for gathering at city beaches, parks and trails, said the San Diego Police Department’s Chief David Nisleit.
“This education-first approach has been an important strategy that continues to work,” Faulconer said.