CHICAGO — In his latest attempt to try and force the city’s hand, the FOP president is asking any Chicago police officer who is defying the vaccine mandate to show up at CPD headquarters. The head of the police union is also threatening alderman who don’t side with him.
The police department says about 70% of officers have complied with the vaccine mandate.
FOP President John Catanzara asked officers who are defying the mandate to report to HR on the second floor of police headquarters at 10 a.m. Tuesday to show what the staffing shortage would look like if they’re all on no-pay status at the same time.
Right now, only about 25 officers are on the no-pay status.
Dozens of officers and their supporters showed up to protest the mandate. A wife of one of those officers spoke to WGN and said her husband is taking one for the team.
“He is on a non-pay status and we don’t care, we’re going to figure this out,” Grace Giampa said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, how long this is going to last. We don’t know, but we are not going to give up our freedom.”
A CPD internal memo went out Monday night reminding officers that the protocol is to self-report to their immediate supervisors in their own districts, not at headquarters. Failure to follow that protocol could result in disciplinary action.
However, in a video Monday evening, Catanzara said Tuesday’s plan is about sending a message.
“We said from the get-go we’re willing to negotiate with the city,” he said. “They shot it down every step of the way. It’s been, ‘Sign the papers or get out of my face.’ Well tomorrow, we’ll be in your face and were coming with a big number just to show how bad it can really be“
Tuesday’s call to action comes on the heels of a win and a loss for Catanzara. On Monday, a Judge lifted the gag order that was designed to stop him from encouraging officers to defy the city mandate. That same day, he led a rally outside City Hall trying to convince aldermen to support an ordinance that would effectively repeal the mandate. The ordinance did not receive enough votes to advance.
The FOP’s battle against the city started long before the vaccine mandate