(JustPatriots.com)- The New York City Police Department is putting almost 90 of their officers on leave after they didn’t comply with the city’s mandate for all employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
On Tuesday, Dermot Shea, the city’s police commissioner, said 89 police officers were put on leave and will not be paid after they decided not to comply with the city’s mandate. He did say that the absence of all these officers wouldn’t cause any concern to the public’s safety, and that the number of officers on leave could change.
“When you take into account our size, that’s 0.25 to 1%. It’ll probably move again for maybe another day or so. When you look at where we are, we’re in really good shape.”
It’s odd that so many officers were placed on leave Tuesday, only one day after Shea told members of the media that only 34 police officers were placed on “no-pay status” since they didn’t comply with New York City’s vaccine mandate. The department has almost 35,000 police officers on its force.
In making the initial announcement on Monday, Shea said those numbers were “very fluid.” He said:
“That could go up as the day goes on. It could also go down as people get their vaccination status.”
In total, the commissioner said that 85% of employees at the New York City Police Department were vaccinated against COVID-19.
In late October, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that his administration was extending the vaccine mandate to every employee who works for New York City. In addition to that extension, he was taking away the option of being tested weekly as an alternative to the vaccine.
That meant that 160,500 people who work for the city were required to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the deadline of October 29. The only city employees who were excluded from that deadline were some uniformed corrections officers. But even they have to be vaccinated by December 1.
By October 29, all city employees had to provide proof that they were vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who did will receive a bonus of $500. Any employee who didn’t provide documentation that they were vaccinated — even if they were indeed vaccinated — were placed on leave and not paid until they complied.
Last week, the New York City Police Benevolent Association said it would sue to block the city’s police department from enforcing that vaccine mandate. Just a few days later, though, a judge in Staten Island denied their request to block the mandate.
The Police Benevolent Association was arguing that the program that allowed officers to “vax or text” was enough to ensure COVID-19 wasn’t spreading. The switch to just the vaccine mandate was violating police officers’ bodily autonomy, the association argued.
The judge didn’t agree with their argument, though. Following the decision, Patrick Lynch, the president of the PBA, issued a statement that read:
“Today’s ruling sets the city up for a real crisis. The haphazard rollout of this mandate has created chaos in the NYPD.”