Ever since President Biden announced a COVID vaccine mandate, various organizations have been working to enforce the mandate. Major parastatals also set deadlines for their employees getting the jab with a punishment clause for those who refuse.
As the COVID vaccine mandate in major cities across the country draws nearer, there’s a worry that some employees of the police and fire department might be out of jobs if they refuse to take the vaccine.
A good number of this workforce haven’t submitted their vaccine status. Although there’s optimism among the heads of these departments, some of the police officers and firefighters are adamant they won’t be getting the vaccine.
LAPD Could Lose Half of Its Workforce
According to the most recent survey in Los Angeles dated September 14, almost half of the LAPD’s 12,000 employees have indicated they are unvaccinated. This means the LAPD may lose 6,000 of its employees if the mandate is enforced and they get fired.
With this, the already ‘thin’ police force will only get thinner, thereby increasing crime. However, it is important to know about 2,600 of the 6,000 unvaccinated say they will be filing for religious exemptions. However, there’s no assurance that their claims will be approved.
Thousands of LAPD employees plan to seek exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandate https://t.co/4N2AXQYvzY
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) September 14, 2021
An LAPD source said the pressure from the captains in their divisions is becoming unbearable. He said they’ve been receiving constant phone calls reminding them the deadline is drawing closer.
The source further explains they do not trust the police department management or the mayor. He said he’s not against the vaccine, as his family is fully vaccinated. He, however, feels the more they push him to get the vaccine, the less likely he is to get it.
Seattle Can’t Risk Losing Police Officers
The vaccine mandate for Seattle is October 18. According to the mayor’s office, 20% of the 1,075 active police officers haven’t submitted their vaccine status.
Seattle Police Public Affairs Sergeant Randy Huserik said it would upset Seattle if hundreds of police officers were fired. Huserik revealed there’s an emergency contingency plan to deal with a mass exodus of police officers.
An anonymous officer of the city spoke with Fox 13 Seattle about the situation. He said he wouldn’t get the vaccine, but he’ll keep working until he gets fired. He also added the city couldn’t afford to fire 50 to 75 officers because the response time for Seattle would increase drastically.
LA Firefighters Plan to Fight the Decision
For a city like Los Angeles, the vaccine deadline is October 19, which is only five days away. In LA, 895 fire personnel so far (with most being firefighters) have signed an intent to sue if the city terminates their employment because of the vaccine mandate without following due process.
The list represents over 24% of the fire department employees. In light of this, the LA Fire Department will be losing a considerable chunk of its workforce if they are fired over their refusal to take the vaccine.
871 LA firefighters file $1.7 Billion lawsuit over Vaccine mandate… 25% of firefighting force is about to quit… https://t.co/dWZ0VlHBkM
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) October 9, 2021
The dissenting firefighters have hired Kevin McBride to represent them. In an interview with Fox News, McBride said the city plans to terminate the firefighters’ employment without following due process.
He stated a situation like this should require a hearing. McBride also noted the fire chiefs are trying to intimidate the firefighters into taking the jab.
Furthermore, the attorney said there’s an intent to sue because of the emotional distress the fire chiefs have intentionally inflicted on the firefighters. In light of this, it is clear the LA Fire Department won’t be going down without a fight.