CHICAGO — As the stand-off between Mayor Lightfoot and the city’s largest police union over a vaccine reporting mandate continues, the department’s compliance rate is inching up.
70% of Chicago police department employees. which includes sworn officers and civilian personnel, have now reported their vaccine status — according to sources. Compliance was at 64% when the stand-off began.
At the beginning of the week, the city said 82% of department personnel who reported their status, said they had already received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The number of officers suspended for non-compliance has not significantly increased in recent days. A CPD source said roughly 25 officers are currently in “no-pay” status for refusing to report their vaccination status. The Fraternal Order of Police puts the number at 23. Regardless, the number hasn’t increased dramatically since police brass began summoning non-compliant officers to headquarters to give them a direct order to report their status.
“They’ve slowed the pace and are only calling-in officers they know will be compliant,” FOP President John Catanzara told WGN Investigates.
Catanzara said officers have not been summoned to headquarters in recent days and ordered to comply in large numbers. The police union is telling its members to “hold the line” and refuse to comply, claiming that requesting officers’ health information is a violation of their collective bargaining agreement.
A Chicago police spokesperson declined to say how many officers have been called to headquarters and ordered to report their status.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 paused an earlier plan to pay suspended officers $500 to stand outside locations where police entrance exam tests are being administered this weekend.
As WGN Investigates previously reported, the department is down more than 1,000 officers from just two years ago.
The FOP is now asking active officers to donate $100 per week to fund supporting the suspended officers. The fund has already raised more than $34,000.
The vaccine reporting requirement is the latest skirmish in a long list of battles between the police union boss and Mayor Lightfoot.
In 2020, Lightfoot called Catanzara a “clown” in a series of text messages between the two.