As hundreds of Chicago police are being put on "no-pay leave" over their refusal to submit their personal Covid vaccination status with the city, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appears to have fewer and fewer allies as she desperately tries to fill the gap of officer shortages due to the vax order. Area county sheriffs are refusing to send additional manpower that's she requesting to urgently cover the gaps, telling her that's it's a problem of the mayor's own making.
"Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot received a rude awakening after multiple sheriffs in nearby jurisdictions refused her request to fill the gap in police manpower after she threatened to fire 3,000 local officers for not complying with the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate," The Washington Examiner reports on the latest developments. "DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick and Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said they've helped Lightfoot in the past, but her latest request is a self-inflicted wound that could have been avoided. They said they would only step in and help the Chicago Police Department if city officers were in distress or under duress."
Sheriff Hain had this to say, echoing recent criticisms of the Chicago police union which has cited terrible communication and heavy-handedness in place of requests for dialogue on the issue: "[The Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System] typically responds to emergency situations where there is no opportunity for planning," Hain said. "This situation to me is much different."
Despite sheriff's offices shutting the door on the mayor's request to cover Chicago PD officer shortages, police continue to reportedly be summoned to headquarters where they are given one last on the spot ultimatum: submit to last week's vaccine status order or be relieved from duty without pay.
So far the city says it's not yet going after street patrol officers, which is obviously on fears of a coming crime wave that will hit an already understaffed notoriously high-crime city.
BBC has complied recent statistics as the standoff over the vax mandate continues:
Chicago, a city of nearly three million people, has seen more than 1,600 sexual assaults, nearly 3,000 shootings and 649 murders this year - a 14% increase over last.
Just as violent crimes have risen, though, thousands of the city's police force may not show up to work.
...Nearly one-third of Chicago's almost 13,000-member police department have so far refused to register their vaccination status, putting them on track for dismissal. Twenty-one have been officially removed from active duty so far, but some officials have warned that the mandate could leave Chicago's police force dangerously depleted.
Adding fuel to the fire of the crisis, President Joe Biden during his CNN Town Hall remarks Thursday night continued pushing his view that emergency responders should be fired for defying local vaccine mandates.
Biden just said first responders should be FIRED for refusing the vaccine. Wow.— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 22, 2021
The president even appeared to mock those rejecting vaccine mandates on the basis of "freedom"...
"I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID," Biden said, mocking what he sees as the attitude of mandate opponents. "No, I mean, come on, freedom."
Meanwhile the head of Chicago's largest police union, John Catanzara, is still urging officers to hold the line, despite a weekend gag order imposed on him by the city.
Chicago anticop mayor demand union to force vaxing or force firing. Union response: 50% will not comply. She asked sheriff's depts to fill the shortages. Response: no. I won't ask if they're vaccinated so I'm not sending any lololol. https://t.co/glvCu4Kyhd— Sunshine (@SunshineArt7) October 21, 2021
"It is the city's clear attempt to force officers to 'Chicken Little, the sky is falling' into compliance," he's recently urged the union's 11,000 members. "Do not fall for it. Hold the line."