More than a third of Chicago police officers ignore city vaccine regulations

Read Time:4 Minute, 57 Second

This means that in the foreseeable future, approximately 35% of the city’s 12,770 police officers may be unpaid.

The Chicago Police Department’s response rate is the lowest among all departments in the city, but according to data released by the city, of approximately 64% of whistleblowers, most police officers said they were vaccinated. Specifically, 6,894 people said they had been vaccinated, while 1,333 people said they had not been vaccinated.

Those who say they have not been vaccinated must choose to be tested for Covid-19 twice a week until the end of the year to maintain compliance with city policies.

The city requires employees to be vaccinated or tested twice a week by October 15 and then report their status by the same deadline. Those who do not report their identity are at risk of unpaid leave.

City officials said that the disciplinary process will continue, and may be carried out on a rolling basis, but this has also “started” the process of trying to get the final number of employees to comply with the regulations. The vaccine report portal remains open.

A city official said, “This will not be an immediate’we are going to fire you’.”

The first step is that the employee will be sent home with unpaid disciplinary action, because the city’s vaccine policy is a condition of employment. As of Monday afternoon, no one has been disciplined, but the process can now begin at any time.

“I hope to wake them up soon,” the city official said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters on Monday afternoon that a “very few” police officers failed to comply with the regulations after they went to the police headquarters or the building in which they were located and were asked in person if they entered information online.

For those who still do not have access to the online portal, “CR is being deleted and they will be placed in an unpaid state, and then disciplinary action will be taken from there.”

Lightfoot said she is not worried about a severe police shortage in the city in the next few weeks, but mentioned that it has contingency plans. She said: “At least for today, I have not seen any interference in our ability to protect the safety of the community.”

The response rate of most urban departments to vaccine reporting requirements is at or close to 100%.

A memo obtained by CNN stated that any civilian or sworn employee who does not obey a direct order to comply with the city’s vaccination policy “will be the subject of a disciplinary investigation and may result in fines, including separation from the Chicago Police Department. In addition. , Sworn members who retire during the disciplinary investigation may be denied their retirement certificate.”

Another memo issued on Saturday notified officials that their optional leave will be restricted.

“Until further notice, the use of elective time by sworn CPD members is restricted. In addition, the use of elective time requires prior approval from the deputy director or above in the chain of command of the requesting member,” said the memo obtained by CNN .

The memo was issued when the police union and Lightfoot clashed over the city’s requirements for city employees to be vaccinated and to disclose their vaccine status. The deadline for this is Friday.

The union-the Chicago Brotherhood of Police-filed a lawsuit in the Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, accusing Lightfoot, Chicago Police Chief David Brown, the city and the police department of failing to “comply with the status quo of collective bargaining agreements.”

The chairman of the union publicly opposed the authorization

The lawsuit stated that when the city “imposed unilateral changes to the policy”, the police department’s Covid-19 policy negotiations were in progress, and “there are several collective bargaining issues still unresolved on the negotiating table”.

Lightfoot said on the same day that the city filed a lawsuit against the police union and the chairman of the union, John Catanzara, because her office believes that the union is encouraging “illegal suspension of strikes, pure and simple… and we have not done so.”

The mayor said at the time that she did not want young officers to ruin their careers because of bad advice.

“What? Go to a website, click Yes or No, if not, say you want to sign up for the test? Really, is it worth it?” Lightfoot said.

Catanzara has publicly opposed the authorization to report vaccine status and told the police that they do not need to comply and that the police department has its own Covid-19 policy.

He said that city officials should negotiate with the union on vaccination issues​​.

“All these things are changes in your employment policy. You have to negotiate with us what this looks like. The city government refused to do this,” Catanzala said on Monday.

According to the military officer memorial page, Covid-19 is the leading cause of death among military officers across the country.

Across the city, 25,015 out of 31,483 employees reported their vaccine status, with a total response rate of approximately 80%. A total of 21,088 employees said they had been vaccinated, while 3,927 employees said they had not been vaccinated.

The Chicago Fire Department’s response rate ranks second among all departments at 72%, although most of the percentages indicate that they are vaccinated.

A city government official pointed out that people who said “no” to vaccination include those who have received only one dose of the vaccine or those who have not been fully vaccinated. These figures are as of Monday morning, but may fluctuate in the coming weeks.

CNN’s Steve Almasy, Raja Razek, Keith Allen, Carma Hassan, Adrienne Broaddus, and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.


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