Indiana's GOP senator: Chicago police who defied vaccine mandate 'deserve respect'

Indiana's GOP senator: Chicago police who defied vaccine mandate 'deserve respect'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunOvernight Defense & National Security — Senate looks to break defense bill stalemate Senate GOP moving toward deal to break defense bill stalemate Senate Republicans clash over government shutdown strategy MORE (R-Ind.) said he would "welcome" Chicago police officers seeking to defy the city's vaccine mandate.

"Our police do the hardest job in the world, and they deserve respect — not losing their pay or being fired for refusing to comply with a ridiculous vaccine mandate," Braun said in a statement to Fox News.

The senator added that the officers "deserve respect" and encouraged the "3,000 Chicago cops defying this government overreach" to come to his state of Indiana. 

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"Indiana's police departments are hiring now and will welcome you with the respect you deserve," Braun also said in a tweet.

 

Following an Oct. 15 deadline to either get vaccinated or submit to regular COVID-19 testing, about 4,500 Chicago police officers failed to report their vaccination status to the city as of Monday, CNN reported. 

As a result, approximately 35 percent of the city's police force of 12,770 could be placed on no-pay status, CNN reported. 
 
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) already began putting noncompliant officers on no-pay status if they had not reported their vaccination status, Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) said on Monday. Lightfoot added that a "very small number" of officers have been put on no-pay status. 

These actions come amid a feud between the city and the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police regarding the vaccine mandate.

John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, openly advocated for officers to defy the order, but a judge ruled on Friday that he could no longer publicly encourage people to go against the mandate. 

Meanwhile, the CPD has limited personal time off for officers, a policy typically reserved for potentially violent holiday weekends, amid potential staff shortages because of the vaccine mandate.

The Hill has reached out to the CPD for more information.