More than 35.6% of the Chicago Police department — 4,543 employees — are in jeopardy of being disciplined and eventually fired for failing to disclose their vaccination status to the city.
Fraternal Order of Police
A Cook County judge ordered Police Union President John Catanzara on Friday to stop making public statements on social media or in the media that encourage police officers not to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate until a hearing Oct. 25.
Police and other first responders — who come in close physical contact with Chicagoans — must be vaccinated to protect the health and safety of Chicagoans, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara's actions and rhetoric "threatens the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and first responders," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
In a video posted online Tuesday, Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara vowed to take Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to court if it tries to enforce a mandate, which requires city workers to report their vaccine status by the end of the work week.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said those staffers who are not fully vaccinated by Friday’s deadline must consent to weekly testing, but will not be immediately barred from working, as had previously been threatened.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot acknowledged that she cannot force alderpeople to get vaccinated against COVID-19 since they are independently elected and do not report to the mayor.
The mayor said Wednesday she would not delay her order to require all city workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 15 — despite pushback from the unions representing Chicago’s 11,000 police officers.
It took more than four years to negotiate a new deal with the police union, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanded changes to the way officers are investigated after a 2017 probe by the U.S. Department of Justice found police officers routinely violated the civil rights of Black and Latino Chicagoans.
A final vote is set for Sept. 14 on an eight-year deal that offers more than 11,000 Chicago police officers annual average raises of approximately 2.5% — while imposing new rules on officers suspected of misconduct.
Tension between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department exposed by the fatal shooting of Officer Ella French widened Wednesday, as the mayor defended the decision by a high-ranking officer to cut short a ritual meant to honor the fallen officer.
The mayor announced Monday that negotiators had reached an eight-year deal that offers more than 11,000 Chicago police officers annual average raises of approximately 2.5% — while imposing new rules on officers suspected of misconduct.
The roadblocks preventing a new deal between the police union and city officials are unchanged since the contract expired on June 30, 2017 — and both sides are dug in and unwilling to compromise.
In a video message, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara announced that his union membership spoke “loud in clear” during a general meeting Wednesday in issuing the vote against city leaders.
The massive, 764-page criminal justice reform bill will eliminate cash bail, require law enforcement officers to wear body cameras and create a certification program for police. “This legislation marks a substantial step towards dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our communities,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
Both the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives approved the sweeping measure Wednesday, which could end the practice of cash bail in Illinois and make it easier to decertify officers who commit misconduct.