As crime rates surge, so are vaccine mandates — and resistance by police to those mandates. That means major cities across the United States risk losing one-third or more of their police forces, hesitant about getting the COVID-19 shot.
In Chicago, more than 4,500 employees of the Chicago Police Department — about one-third of both officers and civilian employees — refused to disclose their vaccine status. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the city’s Fraternal Order of Police are in a political standoff.
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said last week, “It’s safe to say that the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50% or less for this weekend coming up.”
A real disruption also soon could hit Los Angeles, where the city’s vaccine mandate deadline is in December. Last month, employees of the Los Angeles Police Department filed a federal lawsuit opposing the city’s vaccine mandate. Likewise, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told The Associated Press earlier this month, “I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5[%], 10% of my workforce overnight.” He added that he won’t enforce the county-level mandate. Read more…