Story at a glance:
- There could be a more considerable shortage of police officers, and an anti-vaccination movement is to blame.
- Penalties for officers who refuse to get vaccinated differ from city to city, but it is common for unions to be resistant.
- If officers do not comply with the rules, they may face termination.
Across America, there could be a more considerable shortage of police officers, and an anti-vaccination movement is to blame.
Police officers in critical metropolitan areas such as Seattle, Chicago and Milwaukee have to be vaccinated or they may be fired, but police unions are pushing back, saying a vaccination requirement against their will is unconstitutional, The Guardian reported.
Penalties for officers who refuse to get vaccinated differ, but there is a commonality among unions that are resistant to various COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.
On Oct. 18, Seattle enacted a vaccine mandate that could terminate hundreds of refusing officers that would undoubtedly create an understaffed department.
A policy already existed in Chicago, to which the city's police union has filed a counter-suit against Mayor Lori Lightfoot, arguing that the mayor did not appropriately negotiate the terms of the mandate with the union.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Milwaukee police union has agreed with the city earlier this week that it requires members to be vaccinated or wear masks while on duty except when eating or drinking at a safe distance from others.
If officers do not comply with the rules, they face termination.
As Changing America previously reported, an entire Missouri police department in the Kimberling City resigned, citing problems like an inadequate pay rate and not having the right tools to do the job. The department has local leaders struggling to find replacements, especially with some rhetoric against law enforcement.
As Changing America previously reported, despite working on the front lines, many police officers are still reluctant to receive the coronavirus vaccine — posing a health risk not only for themselves but the public they interact with.
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