Thousands of officers in the Chicago Police Department are reportedly fighting back against their city’s mandate to report their COVID-19 vaccination status, which went into effect yesterday.

“The unofficial number we have is about over 3,200; so about a third of the department,” Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara told CBS Local. He added that the mandate is illegal because the city never negotiated it with the union.

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Catanzara went on to say that it seems that the officers who are refusing to comply with the mandate are “going to go into a no-pay status, effective immediately.” He also said that this dispute with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) isn’t even about the vaccine anymore but about collective bargaining rights.

“All of those things are a change in your employment policies,” he said. “You have to negotiate with us what that looks like. The city has refused to do that.”

Despite everything that has happened, Catanzara defiantly stated that the union is not backing down and is suing the city over the vaccine mandate.

“Our moniker all week has been hold the line for a reason,” Catanzara continued.

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This is far from the only city in America that is having this issue among police. Tracy McCray, the Vice President of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, spoke out to warn that there is a chance that “calls will go unanswered” as the vaccine mandate for police in the California city goes into effect today.

“In a city of this size, with the month of October and all the things that have been going on, [the loss of officers due to the vaccine mandate] that’s gonna put quite a dent into operations,” she said. “… if you take 120 cops, or even more, off the street, what do you think is gonna happen?”

“If I have a crime happening in Bayview XXXXXX, where Alice Griffin public housing is located, high crime area, or do I have to go to a woman screaming all the way across in the Potrero Hill area, you know, which one am I am going to?” she added.
[[[GET ON GETTR]]]McCray cited “religious beliefs” and “concerns about the long-term effects of the vaccines” as some of the reasons behind why some officers have yet to be vaccinated. Unlike in many other cities, San Francisco officers don’t have the option to undergo COVID-19 testing instead of getting vaccinated. For them, they must either get the shot or lose their jobs.

This piece was written by James Samson on October 19, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.

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