By Dillon Burroughs October 15, 2021 at 8:20am
A Chicago police union leader has told the city’s officers to defy the city’s law enforcement COVID-19 vaccine mandate, calling it “absolutely wrong.”
John Catanzara, president of Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police, shared his perspective on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Friday as Chicago’s law enforcement vaccine mandate deadline neared.
“We have a mandate to report our vaccine status by midnight tonight,” Catanzara said.
He was urging officers to refuse to report their vaccine status.
“The numbers we have are probably around half are not [vaccinated]. But even the ones that are, like myself, believe that a forced mandate is absolutely wrong,” Catanzara said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said she would put officers who refuse to comply on unpaid leave, according to The Associated Press.
“The reality is, we have a profession nobody else wants to do right now. They cannot get anybody to go into this police academy, but yet here she is vilifying the police yet again in a city that has over 185 expressway shootings this year alone,” Catanzara said.
“Over 280 kids shot this year alone, and she acts like there’s nothing else going on but this COVID,” he added.
Should Chicago require police officers to be vaccinated?
Lightfoot said at a news conference on Wednesday that the city was “prepared,” according to The Washington Post.
She added that Catanzara was “doing a patent disservice to his members every single day” by encouraging police officers to resist the vaccine mandate.
“If you are not vaccinated, you are playing with your life, the life of your family, the life of your colleagues, and members of the public,” the mayor claimed.
“Whatever happens because of that manpower issue, that falls at the mayor’s doorstep,” Catanzara said in a YouTube video message to Chicago police officers on Tuesday.
He made it clear that he expected to win the battle with the city.
“I can guarantee you that no-pay status will not last more than 30 days,” Catanzara said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“There’s no way they’re going to be able to sustain a police department workforce at 50 percent capacity or less for more than seven days without something budging.”