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Chicago Police Department restricts time off for officers after vaccine mandate deadline, CNN affiliate reports

“Until further notice, the use of elective time by sworn CPD members is restricted. Furthermore, the use of elective time will require prior approval from the Deputy chief or above within the requesting member’s chain of command,” the memo obtained by WLS reads.

The memo was issued Saturday to all sworn officers and was to be read at all CPD roll calls for five consecutive days, WLS reports.

The restrictions come as up to half of Chicago’s rank-and-file police officers could be placed on unpaid leave because of a dispute between their union and Mayor Lori Lightfoot over the city’s requirement city employees be vaccinated and disclose their vaccine status.

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara has spoken out against the mandate to report vaccine status, telling officers they are not required to comply, and the police department has its own Covid-19 policy.

“If we suspect the numbers are true, and we get a large number of our members who stand firm on their beliefs that this is an overreach, and they’re not going to supply the information in the portal or submit to testing, then it’s safe to say the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50% or less for this weekend coming up,” police union president John Catanzara said last week.

“That is not because of the FOP; that is 100% because of the mayor’s unwillingness to budge from her hard line. So whatever happens because of the manpower issue, that falls at the mayor’s doorstep.”

Lightfoot said Friday the city would take the weekend to check with officers who have not complied before putting them on unpaid leave, and she did not think it would happen Saturday or Sunday. Lightfoot said officers should report for duty until they are told by supervisors they have been placed on leave.

Covid-19 is the leading cause of death for officers across the country, according to the Officer Down Memorial page.
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