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With crime continuing to soar in Chicago, the city’s mayor is still insisting that the already undermanned police force comply with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate or face the consequences.
After months of legal wrangling, all city workers were required to get their first vaccine dose by Sunday, March 13, the same day that seven people were shot in broad daylight at one intersection alone in the city. The victims are listed in serious or critical condition.
In the weekend as a whole, 26 persons were shot, with two fatalities. The first weekend of March saw 20 victims of gun violence in the ongoing bloodbath.
Crime is apparently up in Chicago a staggering 34 percent since last year at this time. Year to date, 108 homicides have occurred, 482 persons have been shot, and 100 of those gun-crime victims have died.
Despite the carnage and the need for a fully-staffed law enforcement response, far-left Mayor Lori Lightfoot has prioritized the jab and warned first responders that they could be fired for noncompliance with her edict. No-pay status is an interim measure. A small number of officers and firefighters are already on unpaid status.
About 2,800 cops and about 300 firefighters reportedly are unvaccinated. There are about 12,000 cops currently on the job in Chicago.
Nearly 7,000 cops reportedly have applied for a religious exemption, but only about 100 of those requests have apparently been granted.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “Police Department staffing is significantly down since 2019 and the city has struggled to recruit replacements for cops who have left the job. Chicago is also in the midst of a major crime spike that began in early 2020.”
Further law enforcement resignations are quite possible as the summer approaches and when criminal activity is likely to increase even more.
Lightfoot’s COVID mandate has been upheld in the arbitration process and in court. The police union has argued that the mandate violates the collective bargaining agreement with the city.
“Employees who fail to comply with the City’s vaccination policy will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no pay status until they come into compliance with the policy. All city employees, including Chicago Police Officers, who fail to comply may also face disciplinary action, up to and including termination. These decisions will be addressed at an individual and department level, and are being undertaken in a manner that will not impact public safety or the continuity of everyday government operations,” a statement from Lightfoot’s office explained.
On March 11, a group of 12 city aldermen told Lightfoot that “we cannot afford to lose one more police officer, firefighter, paramedic, and city worker at this critical time.” The politicians also noted that disciplining or firing anyone from this cohort “presents a clear and present danger to the safety, security, and services to the residents we represent.” The letter urged Lightfoot to take natural immunity into account and that they intended to call a special city council meeting if the mayor did not respond to their concerns.
Lightfoot has not responded to the aldermen as yet.
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