Vaccine Mandates Won't Immunize Against Crime

Vaccine Mandates Won't Immunize Against Crime
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

In recent weeks, police unions, in step with thousands of police officers in major American cities, have vigorously resisted and protested vaccine mandates, leading to the possibility that many departments will soon face crippling labor shortages. While providing questionable public-health benefits, mandates thus threaten to make the problem of rising violent crime even worse.

In Seattle, where a vaccination deadline for city officials passed in October, the police department is on the verge of losing more than half of its personnel since the start of last year. The department has already lost some 300 officers in the post-George Floyd exodus, and now almost 300 more of the 1,000 remaining officers have not reported their vaccination status or are seeking a medical exemption. “We have to protect jobs. Whether it’s one or a couple hundred. That’s our mission here, to protect jobs. It’s not vaccinated versus unvaccinated,” said Mike Solan, president of the officers’ union in Seattle. Since mid-October, Seattle’s police department has been sending non-patrol officers and detectives to emergency calls because of officer shortages.

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