Over 200 Seattle police officers could lose their jobs over the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate because they’ve either not received the jab or would refuse to hand over their private medical data, according to a report Monday.
The Jason Rantz Show on the city’s KTTH said the number represents about 20% of the department’s deployable staff. The department and Mayor Jenny A. Durkan’s office did not immediately respond to after-hour emails from Fox News.
The Officer Down Memorial Page said 132 members of law enforcement have died of COVID-19 this year. Last year, the total figure was 241—making the virus the leading cause of law enforcement line-of-duty deaths.
No national statistics show the vaccination rate for America’s entire population of first responders but individual police and fire departments across the country report figures far below the national rate of 74% of adults who have had at least one dose.
The KTTH report said Durkan’s mandate requires city workers to take the jab by Oct. 18 or face termination. The report said losing 200 additional officers after last year’s push to defund could be devastating to the city.
The city has been negotiating with the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, the report said. In August, Mike Solan, the president of the union, said on a podcast that the mandate could lead to terminations.
“If you are advocating for more police officers because you know crime is on the rise, you need more cops because of what the City Council did,” he said, according to KOMO News. “Why are you threatening us with our jobs (if) you don’t get this vaccination. It’s unbelievable to me, it doesn’t make any sense.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Seattle could lose over 200 cops due to COVID vaccine mandate, report says