Unlike 93% of the officers in the Washington State Patrol who have gotten vaccinated for COVID-19, a significant percentage of Seattle cops are still resisting the shots.
In August, Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a directive requiring city employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18. The already understaffed police department will be facing an even bigger manpower shortage if scores of officers miss that deadline and are not allowed to work. On Wednesday, it was reported that a third of officers had not provided proof of vaccination. By Thursday, the numbers appeared to improve, but only because the department included in the total of those submitting vaccination records the 111 unvaccinated cops who are seeking exemptions. Besides those, 292 sworn officers have yet to offer proof of vaccination or seek an exemption, even as 98% of civilians working in the department have followed the mayor’s mandate.
What is up with a third of the city’s cops? People who go into police work do tend to lean more conservative than the general citizenry in this town, and it is easy to speculate that too many of them have been listening to the crackpots on Fox News and talk radio who portray vaccine mandates as nothing short of tyranny. In fact, getting vaccinated is simply the right thing to do. We are all in this together, and the only way to beat the pandemic is for each of us to make sure we do not get sick and spread the virus to the people around us. You might say it is a civic duty. Of all people, cops should know about civic duty. It is the core of their job.
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