Chicago police officers were to be fully vaccinated by October 15. However, there were around 4,500 officers who did not turn in their paperwork.
In total, the city has 12,770 police officers. With 4,500 not reporting their vaccination status, the city is left with 35% of their police force potentially on non-pay status
. The CPD had the lowest response rate out of all the departments within the city. The 64% who reported did say they were mostly vaccinated. Of the 64%, 6,894 were vaccinated while 1,333 were not.
The 1,333 that are not vaccinated will have to follow city policy and get tested twice a week through the end of the year. The original requirement for city workers was that they get vaccinated or get tested twice a week.
They were to report by October 15 or be put on a possible unpaid leave. According to city officials, they are looking at rolling out the unpaid leaves as a staggard process, allowing them to get a final headcount.
“It’s not going to be an immediate ‘we’re firing you.'” said one of the city officials. First, an employee will be sent home on a no-pay disciplinary status since the vaccine is a requirement for employment.
So far, the policy has not been enacted but is likely to start soon. The city official said, “It’ll hopefully wake them up quickly.”Though many of the Chicago departments were at or close to 100% response rate in reporting.
CNN reported a memo from the departments stating that those who do not obey the direct order “will become the subject of a disciplinary investigation that could result in a penalty up to and including separation from the Chicago Police Department. Furthermore, sworn members who retire while under disciplinary investigations may be denied retirement credentials.”
They also sent out a memo stating that time off would be limited. However, the police union and Mayor Lori Lightfoot continue to butt heads over the requirement for the vaccine and for disclosing their status.
The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police filed a lawsuit stating that Lightfoot, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, the city, and the department are all not in compliance “with the collective bargaining agreement’s status quo.”