In some cities across the country, a sizable percentage of police and firefighters face dismissal or sent home without pay for refusing to cooperate with the COVID-19 vaccine deadline fast approaching. city.
In Los Angeles, 895 city firefighters, a majority of firefighters, have signed an intention to sue the city of Los Angeles if they are fired without due process for not being vaccinated by the Oct. 19 deadline.
The growing list of firefighters threatened with prosecution now represents about a quarter of the department of 3,700 employees.
Kevin McBride, the attorney representing the firefighters, told Fox News the city is potentially trying to fire the workers without due process, which is expected to include a hearing. McBride says some firefighters claim their bosses are trying to intimidate them into getting vaccinated.
“Our intention to prosecute is because fire chiefs intentionally inflict emotional distress on firefighters. Fire chiefs know that every employee has the right to due process as a public employee in California,” McBride said.
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A spokesperson for Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti did not respond to the allegations, telling Fox News the mayor generally does not comment on pending litigation. The mayor’s office has confirmed that every employee in the city is required to provide their immunization status and the deadline for doing so has passed. “Anyone who hasn’t given us this information must do so now,” Garcetti wrote in a statement.
Garcetti also wrote that his policy allows medical and religious exemptions but will not tolerate abuse of the exemptions. “To anyone considering making a spurious exemption request, I urge you to reconsider your decision. Each request will be carefully considered,” Garcetti wrote.
The Los Angeles Police Department also faces a significant number of staff who may not be vaccinated by the mid-October deadline. In the city’s most recent poll, dated September 14, about 50% of the 12,000 LAPD employees said they had not yet been vaccinated and 2,600 indicated they would file a waiver request. religious.
A Los Angeles police source told Fox News that they had not been vaccinated and that “the pressure is mounting because those of us who were not registered have received phone calls from our captains in our divisions. , saying, “Hey, you realize you’ve got this deadline approaching, will you tell me now?”
The police source says they lack confidence in the mayor and the leadership of the police department and also wonder if they will be mandated to get more recalls in the future.
“I am not suspicious of the vaccine. I have had other vaccines. My family has been vaccinated,” the source said. “For me, I did a personal risk assessment. I’m healthy. I’m fit. The more they push me to do it, the less I have to do it.”
In Seattle, city workers must be vaccinated by October 18. The mayor’s office told Fox News that 20% – about 200 – of Seattle’s 1,075 active police officers have yet to submit their immunization status.
Seattle Police Public Affairs Sergeant Randy Huserik told Fox News it would be “devastating” for the city if hundreds of officers were suddenly fired.
“We won’t know anything until we wake up on the 19th and see what happened,” Huserik said.
Huserik says that as a result, a 911 contingency plan is now in place in the event of a mass exodus of officers.
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An anonymous Seattle police officer told Fox 13 Seattle: “By losing even 50 to 75 police officers in one day, response times for the city will increase dramatically. “
The officer said he had requested a religious exemption but was not sure it would be approved. “I will not get the vaccine. I will continue to work until the day they fire me and that is about all I can do,” the police source told Fox 13.
A spokesperson for Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan told Fox News the mayor was confident the police would “do the right thing” and submit their vaccination status in the final days.
“The mayor is convinced that SPD officers understand the critical importance of vaccinations to protect themselves, their colleagues and the communities they serve,” wrote the spokesperson for Durkan.
It comes as the Downtown Seattle Association, which includes members like Amazon, wrote a heavily worded October 7 letter urging City of Seattle officials to invest more in public safety, writing “certain areas – the heart of commerce retail and arts and culture core – have been taken over for shoplifting and drug trafficking operations. Retail theft is rampant and visible organized fencing operations cost people retailers millions of stolen goods and extra expense for added security. ”
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was not ruling out a vaccination warrant for the nation’s largest police force of 36,000 officers.
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NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said 68% of the NYPD workforce is vaccinated and that he will support the mandate of all of its officers to be vaccinated. “I would support a vaccination mandate. I said from day one I think science to help the emergency situation we find ourselves in makes sense,” Shea said.