Seattle police officers face vaccine mandate deadline, as ‘costly litigation’ next-step for defunded force

The 200 or so Seattle police officers who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday are likely to initiate a lawsuit against the city to prevent their mass layoffs as the department is already grappling with staff shortages that the Seriously affecting 911 response.

National Police Association president Betsy Brantner Smith, a retired police sergeant, told Fox News Digital Monday that she was expecting some “costly litigation” as far more police officers hit back than the city council understands.

Before the deadline on Monday, Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, said the Seattle Polcie Department had already lost around 300 officers in the past 18 months and he anticipated another “mass exodus” in the coming week.

Solan didn’t immediately return a request from Fox News Digital on Monday requesting an update.

“This litigation is going to be expensive,” said Smith. “I don’t think the city of Seattle is looking far enough ahead. I think they are trying to harass these cops into saying you need to get vaccinated or we will fire you. I would be mad, not only because we will have fewer police officers now, but also because of the money that is being wasted on this legal battle. ”

SEATTLE BUSINESS OWNER fears that the vaccination mandate will extend 911 response time: “I can’t get any help”

“Police officers need to be able to make their own health decisions,” said Smith. “When you become a cop we know we are giving up a lot of control – I am told when I work, where I work, what I wear, what I can say. This is just another level of control with these officers, it is unnecessary. ”

“Right now, the coronavirus is the number one killer among the cops on duty,” said Smith. “It’s the number one death for American law enforcement. So it has not escaped us that this is a very dangerous disease for us – go. So we know how dangerous it is. And we have to be able to make decisions. An unvaccinated police officer does not endanger anyone but himself. ”

Several Seattle police patrol cars were photographed out of their windows Monday in protest of the mandate with Gadsden flags spreading the message “Tread On Me”. Meanwhile, a Washington State Patrol officer filmed himself Friday saying it was his last shift on the force after rejecting the vaccine and added a strongly worded message to Washington Democratic Governor Jay Inslee. Smith questioned what the desired endgame would be for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and the city council as Washington’s largest city was plagued by “out of control violent crimes”.

“Nobody in the Seattle Police Department has been unjustly vilified more than these cops,” said Smith. “You can go back to CHOP / CHAZ and move on. This is just one more thing that this government, led by Mayor Jenny, is already hiring these beleaguered officials. I know for a fact that many Seattle police officers are looking for other employment “be it outside of law enforcement or within their profession in another area.”

Seattle police officers deliberate after participating in a public appeal in Hing Hay Park in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Union leaders’ fears are compounded by COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
((AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File))

Last summer, Defund Police demonstrators forcibly captured an abandoned police station and about six blocks in downtown Seattle, creating an autonomous zone that Durkan himself visited. City crews finally dismantled the barriers to changing masks after shots in the CHOP / CHAZ zone were fatal. In the first few months after George Floyd’s death, Smith claims the mayor dumped the most diverse class of recruits the Seattle Police Department has ever occupied. Durkan is not seeking re-election, but both mayoral candidates said they support a vaccination mandate for police officers.

“Seattle voters must decide that they want to change the direction of the city,” said Smith. “It’s just a dirty, sad city. And the Seattle Police Department is trying to change that.”

“I think what is going to happen is that more and more Seattle cops will try to leave,” she continued. “Those who have to stay because they are at the end of their careers and want to retire or not move out of Washington state will avoid activities that could get them into trouble with their government. So they will not be as aggressive in preventing crime but only to become Claimants and Reporters because the Mayoress worked very hard to demoralize her, and I don’t think her predecessors will be much different. ”

Solan previously said officials will not face immediate dismissals on Monday. Those who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be notified of a “Loudermill hearing” or public forum where an employee can state their reasons for violating the mandate prior to the formal separation.


The union, which represents around 1,000 Seattle police officers, believes the COVID-19 vaccine mandate could exacerbate staff shortages, which in turn could put public safety at risk. Last Wednesday, the Seattle Police Department activated its three-stage emergency mobilization plan, which calls for detectives and non-patrols on emergency calls because of a lack of patrol officers.

“Crime is increasing in this city. Our community is demanding more police officers to answer the 911 calls and the fact that we have already lost nearly 350 police officers due to the political betrayal of the politicians,” Solan told KING. People believe in personal choices and we as a union must represent everyone. We’re not going to play the games of separation between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, that’s not the point. It’s about saving jobs. “

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