Seattle Police could lose 200+ officers over vaccine mandate terminations


Police at the crime scene in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. (SPD blotter)

The Seattle Police Department has lost about 300 officers since last year’s push to defuse. It could lose 200 more officials because of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s COVID vaccine mandate.

The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH learned that there are just over 200 officials who either claim they have not been vaccinated against COVID or refuse to reveal their private medical information. That is around 20% of the SPD’s operational staff.

As part of the vaccination mandate, city workers who do not receive the syringes will be fired. The already dangerously thin SPD cannot bear to lose even more officers.

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The city of Seattle now says full vaccination against COVID is a condition of employment regardless of age, risk factors, or previous infection. Religious and medical exceptions will be offered, but it is unclear whether the city will comply.

City workers must be fully vaccinated by October 18.

However, some SPD officials do not consider the vaccine necessary to get their job done. Officials have been in the field without a vaccine for the past 17 months. Others don’t believe the government has the right to data about private medical decisions, even if they may be vaccinated. It is just not a government business, some argue.

Durkan’s mandate was the subject of negotiations with the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG). The union has been negotiating with the city leaders and an agreement on terms could come this week or early next week. But it is unclear how many of the 200 officials will be satisfied.

At least one union that is negotiating with the city is demanding severance pay for employees who do not have vaccinations.

Rantz: Meet the resistance. They are being fired for rejecting the COVID vaccine mandate

Recruiting is already a crisis. That would be disastrous

If even a small fraction of the officers were to be dismissed because of the mandate, the effect would be disastrous.

The SPD is already at a record low that it has not been occupied since the 1980s. As a result, there is no proactive policing for the majority of Seattle.

Often only around 70 officers patrol the city each night. This has led to a surge in violent crime, with the city well on its way to breaking the 26-year murder rate in 2020. With just over 1,000 officers ready to go, the city is about 300-500 officials away from where they hoped to be.

“We hope that no layoffs will be required and that all unvaccinated employees will choose to be vaccinated,” a Durkan spokesman told Crosscut.

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