Seattle PD activates ‘Stage 3 emergency operations’ as mandate deadline looms, forces every cop to take calls

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SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is making contingency plans amid concerns over staffing shortages and emergency response times caused by staffing shortages and the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The Department on Wednesday moved to “Stage 3” emergency officer dispatching scenario, which requires all staff to be uniformed and ready to deploy to emergency calls, including training staff, detectives, and staff that may not have worked on the street for years.

In August, Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a directive requiring city employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18.

Because vaccinations take two weeks for full efficacy, city employees needed to receive their second shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, by Oct. 4, according to Durkan’s office.

The department has already lost more than 300 officers in the past year, and hundreds more could face termination next week if they don’t comply with the mandatory vaccine order.

As of Tuesday, data from SPD shows 84% of officers have submitted their vaccine information. Less than 100 have filed for an exemption, but 214 still have not done so either.

Police union president Mike Sloan warned that the city may be headed for crisis over the mandate:

“We can’t afford to lose one, that’s how desperate we are to hold onto to people. If we lose more officers, the public safety situation will become that much more untenable here.

“How can this city afford more officers leaving at a time when we already have extremely long priority one from police to somebody’s call for desperate help? To me it’s unreasonable.”

The Union boss expressed the same concerns many police departments have expressed over being mandated to be subject to vaccination and to submit medical information:

“This is not about vaccine, ‘un-vaxed’ or ‘anti-vaxers’, we don’t have that situation here, this is about personal choice and being respected and having accommodations.”

On Oct. 1, SPD Chief Adrian Diaz sent a letter to staff urging officers to get vaccinated and turn in their vaccine verification to avoid a “disruption to unit of assignments”:

“At the moment – we have to assume we have hundreds of unvaccinated individuals based on the information submitted. This could create a disruption to unit of assignments.

“Please submit your proof of vaccination – or please go get the vaccine and then submit the proof of vaccination.”

The threat to lose officers over the vaccine mandate has city residents and business owners concerned as they struggle to rebuild after the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots during the summer of 2020.

Seattle, a flashpoint in the 2020 summer of violence, continues to struggle with violent crime today.

The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) wrote in a letter to the Seattle City Council and King County Council earlier this month:

“Certain areas in the heart of the retail and arts and cultural core have been taken over for shoplifting and drug trafficking operations. Retail theft is rampant and visible organized fencing operations are costing retailers millions in stolen goods and additional expenses for increased security.

“Simply put, the current systems, programs, responses and interventions are inadequate and ineffective in addressing these issues.”

The Association joined a growing chorus of calls for the investment and increased budget for the Seattle Police Department, a stark change from the “Defund the Police” movement championed by Democrats and Progressive activists.

Seattle Police Department spokesman Sgt. Randy Huserik said the department is waiting until October 19 to make any decisions on officer suspensions or terminations:

“Come October 19th, (we) will look at what the next steps are for the officers who at this point have not turned in their vaccination cards.”

Today, non-uniformed officers and staff arrived in uniform preparing to respond to emergency calls, something many have not done in years. The city has not directly addressed the safety of these personnel or the effect on public safety.

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‘Dozens’ of Massachusetts state troopers line up to quit over vaccine mandate after judge denies delay

September 28, 2021

 

BOSTON, MA – “Dozens” of state troopers fed up with the governor’s vaccine mandate are filing paperwork to quit the force as a Superior Court judge has denied any delay in the mandate that kicks in Oct. 17.

A Superior Court judge late Thursday denied a request by the union representing 1,800 members of the state police to block the implementation of Gov. Charlie Baker’s vaccine mandate until details can be collectively bargained, a move the union says has prompted dozens of resignations.

Judge Jackie Cowin ruled that the State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) had failed to show that the implementation of the mandate would either cause irreparable harm to its members or that a delay would serve the public interest.

“Suspending the deadline for union members to obtain full vaccination would be against the public interest which the defendants are charged with protecting, and cause more harm to the Commonwealth than is caused to the union by denial of such relief.”

The union filed its lawsuit seeking an injunction last Friday and held a hearing in front of Cowin on Wednesday.

SPAM President Michael Cherven said in a statement Friday night:

“To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignation paperwork, some of whom plan to return to other departments offering reasonable alternatives such as mask wearing and regular testing.

The police union said it was “unfortunate” that alternatives were not offered:

“We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling; however, we respect her decision.

“It is unfortunate that the Governor and his team have chosen to mandate one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country with no reasonable alternatives.”

Gov. Charlie Baker ordered the vaccine mandate for all Executive Branch employees, including state police, on August 19. The mandate set an Oct. 17 deadline to be fully vaccinated.

Cherven said troopers have been on the front lines during the pandemic and should have been given consideration:

“Simply put, all we are asking for are the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID-related illness as a line-of-duty injury.”

The judge’s ruling leaves troopers with just days to decide whether to take the vaccine. Any officer who does not meet the deadline will be terminated.

Approximately 20% of Massachusetts State Police officers remain unvaccinated.

State police said that although some troopers may have begun the process for resignation or retirement, none had stepped down as of Friday because of the mandate:

“We will decline comment. No retirements occurred today because of the vaccine issue. There was only one retirement today, a Major (had nothing to do with the vaccine).

They may have submitted paperwork or indicated to the union that they plan to do so, but no retirement orders were cut today.”

SPAM said the mandate will lead to increased strain on an already understaffed law enforcement mission:

“The State Police are already critically short staffed and acknowledge this by the unprecedented moves to take officers from specialty units that investigate homicides, terrorism, computer crimes, arsons and human trafficking, to name just a few.”
  

 

 

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