‘We have a place for you:’ Johnson County sheriff welcomes unvaccinated officers from other states

Tracking Coronavirus

OLATHE, Kan. — The sheriff of Johnson County wants to welcome officers from across the county.

In a news release, Sheriff Calvin Hayden said Thursday his office is a safe haven for law enforcement officers in other states who do not want to be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“True to our Midwestern values, Johnson County is a place where freedom is valued, and law enforcement is respected. The support our citizens have shown over the last several years has been overwhelming,” Hayden said.

In August, Johnson County implemented a policy requiring employees to be fully vaccinated or get a weekly COVID-19 test. A day after the county made that announcement, Hayden said he would not follow the mandate.

Hayden said this issue is more than just about vaccinations. He said officers in cities across the U.S. no longer feel supported by the departments where they work. He said that will not happen to his employees at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

“People may say this is all about the vaccine, but that’s missing the point. This issue is so much more than that. This is about valuing, empowering and supporting individual decisions,” Hayden said.

“The Sheriff’s Office is a large family of unique, highly-trained professionals dedicated to serving our citizens. We are proud of our diversity and professionalism. We trust our staff to make the best decisions for themselves and our citizens.”


Johnson County said its position on vaccinations is the same it’s been for months. The county says it encourages eligible residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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