Anti-Vax Cops Need To Get Over Themselves And Get The Damn Shots
COVID-19 has killed more police officers in 2020 and 2021 than any other work-related cause, including off-tasting milkshakes and coffee spiked with tampons that obviously aren't tampons. But it's still an uphill battle convincing cops to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated, which is like wearing an invisible bulletproof vest you never have to remove.
But imagine if cops didn't only refuse to wear bulletproof vests but threatened to quit if you made them. That's the current situation with vaccines and it's just bizarre.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced last week that he won't require that his officers are vaccinated, which defies the county's order that all city employees must provide proof of vaccination by October 1. (Villanueva already declined to help Los Angeles enforce its mask mandates, because he knows "the science" best, like a common Trump.) But Villanueva isn't in the law enforcement business! He's in this for the skull-cracking. Besides, he's done his own research and concluded that enforcing the mandate would cost him 10 to 15 percent of his workforce OVERNIGHT because apparently no one gives two weeks' notice anymore. That basic courtesy is nothing more than the title of a Sandra Bullock movie.
LA Sheriff Villanueva says that he will not enforce a vaccine mandate, saying employees are willing to get fired ov… https://t.co/QQEV0kFPIN— Alene Tchekmedyian (@Alene Tchekmedyian) 1633620452.0
The issue has become so politicized there are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off rather than get vaccinated.
Yes, we call those groups “dullards" and they are overcrowding far too many hospital intensive care units.
Wait, isn't crime itself fairly political? Only if you consider Proud Boys stabbing people "crime," or people hitting cancer patients while protesting masks at a breast cancer center "crime," and Los Angeles law enforcement just doesn't see how you could.
Over in San Jose, California, city leaders folded after their September 20 vaccination deadline passed, so they'll permit unvaccinated officers to remain on the payroll through the end of the year. The updated policy for vaccine holdouts without a valid religious exemption (the Klingon faith doesn't count) offers a pointless, but still infectious, one-week grace period to seek vaccination before being placed on a one-week unpaid suspension. That's the first step in the disciplinary process. Unvaccinated employees have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test twice a week. That's not nearly as efficient as vaccination.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said he wants to keep police officers from quitting en masse, but he's worried about the public health risks of having unvaccinated officers on the streets. Wow, it's as if he wants two things! You wouldn't think they were mutually exclusive, either, but here we are.
Anti-vax cops across the country are pushing the false choice between vaccine mandates for police and a lawless dystopia because cops have abandoned us. They sound like spoiled children who threaten to run away if you don't let them have both ice cream and cake as dessert after their pizza supper.
"If you decide to move forward with mandating this vaccine, the loss of officers is on you," Josh Carter, an officer in Leesburg, Va., said at a recent meeting where Town Council members considered a vaccine mandate for municipal workers (and decided not to vote on it that day). "I'm going to come back and ask what your plan is to keep my family and my neighbors safe with little to no officers patrolling our streets or our schools," Mr. Carter told the Council.
You believe this shit? The cop's gonna quit and then come back and ask how the Town Council plans to keep his family and neighbors safe. The least he could do after his tantrum is protect his own goddamn family and maybe the neighbors he likes.
Studies show that cops are vaccinated at lower rates than the general population. Sheriff John Mina from Orange County, Florida, suggested that because officers deal with "violent criminals all the time carrying guns," they might not consider COVID-19 as much of a threat. That's mighty hardboiled of them, but the Times conducted a review last year of how cops actually spend their time: Serious violent crimes made up around one percent of all calls for service in selected cities. That includes Baltimore, New Orleans, and Seattle, which Fox News would have you believe are all war zones.
But if anti-vax cops insist on resigning in protest, maybe we can replace them with the 12-year-old children who were brave enough to get vaccinated without whining about it.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."