Today is the deadline for Chicago police officers to submit their vaccination status. On Tuesday, John Catanzara, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), released a video instructing officers on how to go against the mandate.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement on October 8 saying, “[City] Employees who fail to report their vaccination status by October 15, 2021, will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no pay status.”
A whole lot going on today, but one thing remains constant: all four of Chicago’s Law Enforcement unions are in agreement: POs, Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains are all advised to refuse any unlawful order to respond to the portal.
Click to hear more: https://t.co/eEv3vz3YtR
— Fraternal Order of Police – Chicago Lodge #7 (@FOP7Chicago) October 14, 2021
FOP tweeted, “A whole lot going on today, but one thing remains constant: all four of Chicago’s Law Enforcement unions are in agreement: POs, Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains are all advised to refuse any unlawful order to respond to the portal.”
Even city employees who received a medical or religious exemption must be tested twice a week, with the tests separated by 3-4 days. The option to undergo testing will be removed for all employees starting December 31. After that time, all employees must be vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption. The employees who are not currently vaccinated will have to pay for their bi-weekly Covid tests and use their own personal time to take the tests.
Catanzara reportedly advised officers not to fill out the portal information but to input requests for exemptions.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “The union president said that the FOP already has a class-action grievance drafted to cover ‘everything under the sun’ that police officers might lose if they refuse to get vaccinated, including pay and benefits.” In his video, he added that officers need to “hold the line.”
According to Catanzara’s estimates, the police force will be operating around 50% capacity or less for the weekend. When Mayor Lightfoot was asked what would happen if 50% of police were sent home, she replied, “I don’t expect that to happen.”
At Lightfoot’s press conference, she said, “There are all kinds of things that [Catanzara] guy will say, most of it untrue, patently false… He’s threatening litigation. I say bring it. Because we’re going to create a safe workplace for all of our employees, and by doing that, we create safety for members of the public as well.”
According to WGN9, the officers who do not report their vaccination status will not be sent home this weekend.
Lightfoot confirmed that the move wouldn’t take place this weekend, as It will take several days for the city to confirm compliance.
Chicago police department spokesman Tom Ahren stated, “Officers will be working their normal shifts this weekend [and] they won’t be turned away or sent home. He continued, “Officers will continue coming to work until they are told otherwise [and] that they are no longer on pay status.”
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