Due to the mayor’s new COVID vaccination mandate, Seattle police officers may lose their employment. More than 200 officers have either refused to get vaccinated or have refused to provide their private medical data, according to Seattle’s Jason Rantz radio show on Monday Sept. 6
Since last year’s campaign to defund the police, the Seattle Police Department has lost hundreds of officers, bringing its staffing levels to “record lows not seen since the 1980s.” A staffing problem looms as the agency deals with a 17% budget decrease and 250 officers who have already resigned due to the “anti-police climate.”
Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) announced a decree last month requiring all municipal employees to get vaccinated by Oct. 18 or face being fired if they refuse. The effort to defund the police has already resulted in the loss of about 300 officers in Seattle, leading to an increase in violent crime in the Democrat-controlled city.
Vaccines are safe, effective & save lives. @CityofSeattle employees must be fully vaccinated by 10/18 to help us re-open safely while protecting employees & public. We will evaluate plans based on science + @KCPubHealth guidance. https://t.co/NjEOIB5QYA
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) August 9, 2021
Meanwhile, city officials are attempting to reach an agreement with Mike Solan, the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, who has stated that the vaccination requirement is unnecessary.
“If you are advocating for more police officers because you know crime is on the rise, you need more cops because of what the City Council did,” Solan explained. “Why are you threatening us with our jobs if you don’t get this vaccination? It’s unbelievable to me, it doesn’t make sense.”
Furthermore, Solan believes that mandating a vaccination to an already understaffed police force is a formula for catastrophe.
“It’s not about politics. It’s not about the debate with science. It’s around why are you tying in termination with this?”
According to a spokeswoman for the mayor, the mayor hopes that no terminations are necessary. However, if the officers refuse to be vaccinated, Seattle’s already reduced police force would lose a furthur 20% of its personnel.
Some SPD officers claim that the double-jab should not be required to accomplish their jobs, while others maintain that they have been in the field without a vaccination for the past 17 months.
Some people also believe that the government should not have access to their private medical data, even if they have been vaccinated, since this would be an invasion of their privacy.
The Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), the biggest police labor organization in the Northwest, will have an influence on Mayor Jenny Durkan’s mandate.
The union has been in talks with municipal authorities, and an agreement may be reached as soon as this week or early next week. However, it is unknown how many of the 200 resisting officers will be pleased with the conclusion.
If all city employees must be vaccinated, at least one union bargaining with the city is pushing for severance compensation.
Although there is no nationwide vaccination rate for America’s first responders, individual police and fire departments around the country report rates significantly below the national norm of 74% of people who have received at least one shot.