Vaccine mandates could lead to police and firefighter exoduses in urban areas

Posted 3 days ago


In some cities across the country, a considerable percentage of police and fire department employees face being fired or sent home without pay for refusing to cooperate with their city’s fast-approaching COVID-19 vaccine deadline.

In Los Angeles, 895 city fire personnel, a majority firefighters, have signed an intent to sue the city of Los Angeles if they are terminated without due process for not being vaccinated by the Oct. 19 deadline.

The growing list of fire fighters threaten to sue now represents about a quarter of the department of 3,700 employees.

Kevin McBride, the attorney representing the firefighters, tells Fox News that the city is attempting to potentially terminate the workers without full due process, which should include a hearing. McBride says some firefighters claim that their chiefs are trying to intimidate them into getting vaccinated.

"Our intent to sue is because of the intentional infliction of emotional distress by the fire chiefs against the firefighters. The fire chiefs know each employee is due full due process as a public employee in California," McBride said.

A spokesperson for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti did not respond to the allegations, telling Fox News that the mayor generally does not comment on pending litigation. The mayor’s office did confirm that every city employee is required to provide their vaccine status and that the deadline to do so has passed. "Anyone who hasn’t given us that information must do it now," Garcetti wrote in a statement.

Garcetti also wrote that his policy does allow for medical and religious exemptions but will not tolerate abuse of the exemptions. "To anyone thinking about filing a disingenuous exemption request, I strongly urge that you reconsider. Every request will be carefully vetted," Garcetti wrote.

The Los Angeles Police Department also faces a substantial number of personnel that might not be vaccinated by the mid-October deadline. In the city’s most recent survey, dated Sept. 14, roughly 50% of LAPD’s 12,000 employees indicated they had not yet been vaccinated and 2,600 indicated they would file for religious exemption.

A Los Angeles police source tells Fox News that they have not been vaccinated and, "Pressure is mounting because those of us that were undeclared have been getting phone calls from our captains of our divisions, saying, ‘Hey, you realize you’ve got this deadline coming up, do you want to tell me now?’"

The police source says they lack trust in the mayor and the police department management and also question whether they’re going to be mandated to get more ... (Read more)