President John Catanzaro, the head of the Chicago police officers union has called on the union members to defy the city’s requirement to report their COVID-19 vaccination status by Friday or be placed on unpaid leave, predicting a shortage of officers as the mandate takes effect this weekend.
In a meeting on Wednesday night, he told members, “Hell no is the best way I can put it, across the board,” he told members. .
Catanzara suggested that if the city does enforce its requirement and many union members refuse to comply with it, “It’s safe to say that the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50% or less for this weekend coming up.”
In a recent video, Catanzara instructs officers to file for exemptions to receiving the vaccine but to not enter that information into the city’s vaccine portal.
He said that although he has made clear his vaccine status, “I do not believe the city has the authority to mandate that to anybody, let alone that information about your medical history.”
Violent crime has spiked in the city this year, from expressway shootings to a rise in carjackings. Chicago police reported 629 homicides this year through early October, compared with 605 during the same period last year and 402 in the same time frame in 2019.
Los Angeles police and county sheriff, and Seattle police are among the departments either under vaccine mandates or facing one.
Seattle is set to lose 40% of its force.
This could be big. There is evidence that airlines and Amtrak will fight the mandates.