The United States has been facing a labor crisis for over a year now, thanks at least in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine mandates across the country are now threatening to further exacerbate that problem.
According to The Epoch Times, all state employees in Washington are required to be vaccinated by Oct. 18. That includes police officers in the state’s largest city, Seattle.
On Oct. 6, the Seattle Police Department updated the number of employees who had submitted proof of vaccination. Out of 1,074 reported employees, SPD said 292 sworn officers had not yet proven to be vaccinated.
Those 292 officers alone represent 27 percent of the department’s police force. However, SPD Spokesperson Sgt. Randy Huserik told KCPQ there were an additional 111 officers not represented in that number who were awaiting results from their requests for exemptions.
If those exemptions are denied, that would bring the number of unvaccinated officers up to 403, which is nearly 40 percent of the overall force.
Mike Solan, the head of a union representing Seattle officers called the Seattle Police Guild, said the exact number of officers facing termination is still in flux with the deadline less than a week away.
“The department has not released any updated numbers since last Wednesday,” he told the Times on Tuesday. “We are still bargaining this issue and our next session is this coming Thursday.”
Before the mandate, the SPD was already facing a mass exodus of officers. In a separate interview on Tuedsay with KIRO, Solan said left-wing riots have caused hundreds of officers to leave the department.
In particular, Solan mentioned the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, also known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous zone. The Times said that event, which took place last summer, consisted of Black Lives Matter protesters and other leftists taking over a downtown Seattle neighborhood.
“We’ve had many conversations ever since the CHAZ/CHOP, we’ve lost close to 350 cops because we’re literally politically betrayed by our elected officials,” Solan said. “Even, let’s just say we lose 50 cops — even if we just lose one — it’s devastating to how many losses we’ve already incurred.”
The Times said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan attempted to make herself empathetic in an email to city employees last week. Even so, she could not pass up the opportunity to push her leftist agenda.
“We value each of you, and do not want to lose you as employees,” she said. “But the people that count on you the most are the ones that need you to get vaccinated.”
This, of course, is ridiculous. When a Seattle resident is facing an armed criminal, their primary concern is not whether the people who respond to their call are vaccinated.
If the left has its way, the SPD will not have enough officers to respond to urgent pleas from city residents. Solan said that is a major concern for him and the union he leads.
“I’m not sure how we answer those 911 calls,” Solan said. “This isn’t alarmist, but this is reality here. And many of the people that I represent are just fed up, and this is the last straw with them as they feel that they’ve been targeted for just being cops here in the city, as they think that this mandate has been politicized. And there’s not much more trust in our elected officials anymore.
“I’m just fearful that this is another blow where we just lose quality people to do the job of policing.”
One Seattle officer told KCPQ the environment at the department had been “pretty toxic and negative” since before the mandate. She said that being forced to receive the vaccine would be the last straw for her.
“I’m not sure this would be a good place for me to work long-term for my mental health,” she said. “It has been very stressful.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told KCPQ not to worry about the possibility that swaths of officers may leave the force, because he has a “contingency plan.”
It’s another clear sign that in the view of the left, anyone who does not follow their demands is expendable and replaceable.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.