Seattle’s already defunct police department is ready for another setback.
The city is set to fire 403 officers, about 40 per cent of the 1,000-man force, for failing to take the COVID-19 jab by the October 18 deadline, according to local reports.
“The environment has been very toxic and negative,” an unnamed official told Fox 13 News. “Not only from this entire mandate, but even before that. I’m not sure this would be a good place for me to work long hours for my mental health. It’s been very stressful.”
As per the station report, till October 6, a total of 292 officers had not yet provided proof of COVID vaccination. In addition, 111 officers are awaiting the results of waiver requests, said Seattle PD spokesman Sgt. Randy Husserik.
The Seattle Police Department has already lost more than 300 officers since the Black Lives Matters riots and the “Defiance of Police” movement engulfed the city in 2020, putting officers in the crosshairs of political and public anger.
In response to the pending manpower crisis, Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz advised his department to transition to “Phase 3 Mobilization,” effective October 13, with all sworn personnel on standby duty to respond to 911 calls, among other contingencies. require a stay on, Fox 13 News reports.
“We value each of you, and don’t want to lose you as employees,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in an email defending the vaccine mandate sent to city employees this week. “But the people who trust you the most are the ones who need you to get vaccinated.”