New York City could lose 30% of police force over vaccine mandate

Around 6,500 police employees could be facing unpaid leave for non-compliance with the city’s vaccine mandate.

New York City is set to lose a significant percentage of its police force and fire department over the city’s newly imposed vaccine mandate, which comes into effect on October 29.

The mandate requires that city workers, including police officers and firefighters, be placed on unpaid leave if they have not received at least a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“New York City took one of its most aggressive steps yet to increase vaccination rates in a city that was once the epicenter of the pandemic, requiring almost every member of the nation’s largest municipal workforce to get vaccinated by the end of the month or lose their paychecks,” the New York Times reported.

As signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the mandate follows similar requirements for the one imposed upon teachers and health-care workers, which led to a surge in vaccinations. The mandate on the city’s first responders is intended to “persuade” those who have resisted getting the vaccine to take the shot for winter, the Times reported.

According to Quartz, around 6,500 police employees, which make up roughly 30 per cent of the New York City’s Police Department’s force of 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilians have refused to take the vaccine.

On Wednesday, the firefighters union in New York City warned that the percentage of unvaccinated police employees could be similar in number for the city’s fire department, 911 dispatchers, and paramedics.

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