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Chicago FOP urges members to defy vax reporting order

Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021

* Wednesday

Urging its members not to comply with the city’s vaccine reporting mandate, the Chicago police union plans to take Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to court, even though unvaccinated city workers will go into “no-pay” status starting Friday.

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said in a video Tuesday that sending home non-compliant officers could cut the city’s police presence over the weekend in half.

The union president said that the FOP already has a class-action grievance drafted to cover “everything under the sun” that police officers might lose if they refuse to get vaccinated, including pay and benefits.

City Hall has announced that any city employees who fail to report their vaccination status by Friday will be placed in a “non-disciplinary, no-pay status.

But Catanzara instructed rank-and-file officers to file exemptions to receiving the vaccine, but not to enter any information into the city mandated vaccine portal.

* Also Wednesday

Former Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo Sr., 67, who led the union during the tumultuous years immediately after the shooting of Laquan McDonald, has died after a weekslong battle with COVID-19.

Mr. Angelo, who served as president of the police union from 2014 to 2017, died Tuesday, according to his son, Chicago Police Sgt. Dean Angelo Jr. He said his father had tested positive for the coronavirus in mid-September and had been in intensive care since Sept. 26. His son had earlier declined to say whether his dad had been vaccinated.

* NYT

More than 460 American law enforcement officers have died from Covid-19 infections tied to their work since the start of the pandemic, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, making the coronavirus by far the most common cause of duty-related deaths in 2020 and 2021. More than four times as many officers have died from Covid-19 as from gunfire in that period. There is no comprehensive accounting of how many American police officers have been sickened by the virus, but departments across the country have reported large outbreaks in the ranks.

While the virus has ravaged policing, persuading officers to take a vaccine has often been a struggle, even though the shots have proven to be largely effective in preventing severe disease and death.

Some elected officials say police officers have a higher responsibility to get vaccinated because they are regularly interacting with members of the public and could unknowingly spread the virus. The debate echoes concerns from earlier in the pandemic, when police officers in some cities resisted wearing masks in public.

Yet as more departments in recent weeks have considered requiring members to be vaccinated, officers and their unions have loudly pushed back, in some cases threatening resignations or flooding systems with requests for exemptions.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 9:53 am:

    This is gross. This isn’t about what is best for the workforce or the people they protect, this is all about making the Mayor’s job more difficult. This guy is disgusting.


  2. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 9:55 am:

    One question for John Catanzara-

    Are you going w/o a paycheck?


  3. - Mason born - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    I’m pretty sure FOP will lose their suit, but I’m not sure the Mayor would be willing to send that many police home? I’m sure some of it is bluster but even a 1/4 reduction is a big deal.


  4. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 9:59 am:

    So the people that are supposed to enforce the law and rules are being advised to to follow them?

    Irony, soundly thrashed.


  5. - Mason born - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    J S Mill

    Isn’t that kind of a feature of Police Unions? “Our guys/gals are special they shouldn’t be held to the standards of a regular peon.” Just saying.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    Cults demand members to trust “leaders” over science and truth, even at the cost of the health of others.

    The FOP is not keeping with what traditional labor organizations contend are the pillar charges of existence. The FOP is fraternal now, almost forcing its name and that meaning upon membership without looking at the possible damage they are doing to themselves and/or others.

    Saddened by this all.


  7. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    You think the same cops who willfully defy the mayor’s order might, just might, be the kind of cop who ignores other laws, commit police misconduct, and cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars? Defying the reporting order should merit dismissal in and of itself, but when someone says “it’s not worth losing police over” I’d challenge that narrative.


  8. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    Spent 30 years in law enforcement.

    There’s a lot of cops out there who can’t afford to miss one check.


  9. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:10 am:

    This serves as a perfect metaphor for what’s going on in our country.


  10. - Frank talks - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:10 am:

    Why? It just doesn’t make sense not to take the shot?
    If anyone from FOP says they’ve done their own research, I’d like to see it. Did they do thousands of hours of of peer reviewed paperwork? Did they research and read thousands of pages of peer reviewed trials and research studies? I’m guessing no.


  11. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    “”Saddened by this all..”‘ yes

    They fight against more than they fight for.

    This stance is part of a bigger cultural issue, where Chicago cops feel they are constantly under attack from all directions. It would not be reasonable from a normal labor union focused on its members’ health and safety, but in this case it represents much of its membership.


  12. - Blue Bayou - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    Union member here (education).

    If my union took this stand, I’d oppose it. And if it continued to erode the very point of the job (in this case, public service), I’d quit it. I’d also support terminating people who didn’t act in the best interests of the public.


  13. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    Catanzara is not only asking his fellow officers to risk COVID infection by refusing vaccinations, he’s demanding they put their families at risk as well.


  14. - SWIL_Voter - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    We mustn’t ever consider reducing or diverting police funding to social services because we need law and order. Even thinking about doing that makes crime skyrocket. We have to shove as much money at police as possible, even though crime is spiking even as we do that. We also have to let the police pick and choose which laws they enforce, heck, which ones they follow, lest they seek revenge on the people they serve. Who is in charge? Do we actually have any recourse for this? It doesn’t seem like any city actually has authority over its police force


  15. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:20 am:

    Getting sick to own the mayor.
    Sure, why not at this point.


  16. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:21 am:

    Despicible. The FOP is a disgrace.


  17. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:23 am:

    =to to=

    “NOT to”


  18. - ChicagoVinny - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    The world needs plenty of bartenders.


  19. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:30 am:

    What is the status of firemen and EMTs? Are they fine with shots? Are they mostly vaccinated?


  20. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    Since COVID emerged, 470 police officers have lost their lives to it nationwide. During that same time, gunfire accounted for 98 deaths.

    COVID accounts for nearly 2 out of every 3 officers who died in the line of duty during the past 2 years. Yet the police unions continuously oppose vaccine mandates for their officers.

    Do blue lives actually matter to them?


  21. - The Swede - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    - Mason born-10:01am…..Spot On.


  22. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:38 am:

    Urging its members not to comply with the city’s *vaccine reporting* mandate…”

    Which makes it all the more silly. Are you willing to go unpaid if you got the vaccine?


  23. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 10:51 am:

    “Do blue lives actually matter to them?”

    No. “Blue lives matter” is a reactionary response to BLM and the struggle against racism. Life clearly does not matter to those who would rather die of COVID rather than the government telling them what to do. For cops, whose very existence is to enforce laws, the hypocrisy is galling.

    But then again, many cops voted for Trump and public employee RTWFL, and to weaken themselves. It’s par for the course, that many who would weaken themselves economically would do so physically as well.


  24. - Jocko - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:02 am:

    I’ve heard of the blue flu…now there’s a blue fool.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:05 am:

    === the statement is to not report your *status,* not to refuse the vaccine. From the article: “Urging its members not to comply with the city’s *vaccine reporting* mandate…”===

    That’s actually more ignorant… you get vaccinated but lose your job because you won’t tell your employer you got the vaccination?

    That’s arguably the dumbest idea.

    Arguing to not get vaccinated at least gives the impression of non-compliance for a reason, lol

    Definitely not a brain trust kind of smarts.


  26. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:09 am:

    An outlaw running a law enforcement union.

    The cognitive dissonance is mind boggling.


  27. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:09 am:

    You need to negotiate common sense with us in good faith. No negotiation, no common sense. That’s the hill I’ll die on…wait…


  28. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:11 am:

    What ever happened to “Protect and Serve”? They’re doing neither in this instance.


  29. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    We cannot trust police to protect themselves and their families, but I’m sure that they can still be trusted to protect us and our families, rite?

    – MrJM


  30. - Now I'm down in it. - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:24 am:

    It would surprise me if a significant amount of CPD went along with Catanzara on this one. It’s a big ask to tell folks to go without pay for ideology. I’m sure many families will have a lot to say about that. Is the FOP going to pay their bills?


  31. - Enviro - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    The teachers unions and their leaders encourage their members to take the Covid vaccine. They want to keep teachers, schools, and families safe.

    The police can ignore the advice of the FOP president and do what they know is the right thing to do. Please protect yourselves and your families by getting the vaccine.


  32. - JoanP - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    A very odd interpretation of “To Serve and Protect”.


  33. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    This whole scenario is very instructive. We keep hearing from the right how criminal justice reforms make it more and more difficult to be a cop. But Catanzara lays bare the truth. They simply do not want to be told what to do. And in that sense they have a lot in common with the current GOP.


  34. - Glenn - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    A bagpipe parade of the type held after other duty related deaths seems appropriate, given that a significant number of the 460 COVID-19 deaths of police officers may be duty related.


  35. - HCMcB4 - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    >>It would not be reasonable from a normal labor union focused on its members’ health and safety, but in this case it represents much of its membership.


  36. - DuPage - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    Unless I’m mistaken, some state employee unions got paid time off to get vaccinated and an extra personal day. If the city offered the same deal, it might help resolve the issue.


  37. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 12:16 pm:

    =If the city offered the same deal, it might help resolve the issue.=

    The time for incentives has passed. Vaccines have been readily available for 6 months. If a person has actively chosen not to get one, they deserve consequences. Fire the lot of them.


  38. - very old soil - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    What Joe said.


  39. - Leslie K - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    DuPage @11:58–Chicago has been offering COVID vaccines at police facilities, with the ability to do it while on duty (including fresh rounds just recently that now include flu shots). City also just gave compliant employees an extra personal day–but not sworn members of the police unions. That’s presumably because the unions are still ‘negotiating.’


  40. - H-W - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    The FOP demands police violate the law. Now that’s rich.


  41. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    =If the city offered the same deal, it might help resolve the issue.=

    It’s not an issue of convenience or incentives, it’s a desire to fight the mayor at every turn. Whether you agree or disagree with Lightfoot the actions and motivations of the FOP are crystal clear.


  42. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:18 pm:

    Remember back in 2015 when that guy falsely claimed that AFSCME had set a strike date because they wouldn’t agree to a 40-hour work week? Remember how many of you rooted him on and said “Fire ‘em”. Now, do that for the police.


  43. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:37 pm:

    ==What ever happened to “Protect and Serve”?==

    Got replaced with “Engage The Enemy” a couple decades back, right around the time police departments got flooded with cheap military surplus.


  44. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:38 pm:

    Perhaps Mr. Cantazara fell out of a tree and damaged the prefrontal cortex. The PFC modulates cognitive control, attention, impulsivity and cognitive flexibility.

    Follow science, John. Also, social media is not your friend.


  45. - Riger - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 3:18 pm:

    Time to let the police self-select their career change. There will be others interested in community service to fill their slots.


  46. - DuPage - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 4:05 pm:

    ===City also just gave compliant employees an extra personal day–but not sworn members of the police unions. That’s presumably because the unions are still ‘negotiating.’===

    Lightfoot gave everyone else an extra personal day but excluded police? She seems to be going out of her way to antagonize the police. No wonder they are giving her pushback.


  47. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 4:19 pm:

    today I got a call to donate to a police charity. I screamed into the phone twice, “get a vaccination (banned punctuation)”.


  48. - HCMcB4 - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 4:20 pm:

    HCMcB4 - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    >>It would not be reasonable from a normal labor union focused on its members’ health and safety, but in this case it represents much of its membership.


  49. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 6:44 pm:

    ==The police can ignore the advice of the FOP president and do what they know is the right thing to do. ==

    Same principle applies to AFSCME 31 members too.


  50. - Occasionally Moderated - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 7:49 pm:

    Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara,

    I’m not a member of your lodge, but I have been an F.O.P. member since 1990. I retired from one job and I’m working another one.

    Thanks for the latest version of “How Can John Make My Life Harder”.

    Keep up the good work.


  51. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Oct 14, 21 @ 5:34 am:

    === Do blue lives actually matter to them?===
    It’s obvious they don’t.


  52. - 17% Solution - Thursday, Oct 14, 21 @ 8:01 am:

    == That’s actually more ignorant… you get vaccinated but lose your job because you won’t tell your employer you got the vaccination?==

    It’s official.

    Catanzara is for defunding the police.


  53. - supplied_demand - Thursday, Oct 14, 21 @ 8:52 am:

    >She seems to be going out of her way to antagonize the police.

    She punished them by increasing their budget, so antagonistic. Oops, wrong narrative.


  54. - Sling - Thursday, Oct 14, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    == She punished them by increasing their budget, so antagonistic. Oops, wrong narrative.==
    And they get oodles of back pay in the new contract as well as more pay going forward. The horror.


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