In compliance with Democratic Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s vaccine mandate, New York City put thousands of police officers, firefighters and other municipal workers on unpaid leave Monday.
The mayor’s office said last night that 22,800 municipal workers remained unvaccinated after the deadline of 5 p.m. last Friday.
Among them are 5,500 NYPD police officer 3,300 firefighters and more than 1,500 sanitation workers.
DeBlasio spokesman Mitch Schwartz told Fox News Monday morning that 9,000 were placed on leave without pay today.”
“The rest are in various stages of having their accommodation requests reviewed. They can be at work,” he said.
One of the many results is that “dozens” of fire companies were expected to be shut down Monday, according to Andy Ansbro, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association union.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro later Monday acknowledged there are many “understaffed units,” with about 18 units down, blaming it on members who are “using medical leave improperly.” Over the weekend, 26 fire stations were closed, about 10% of the city’s total, due to understaffing, according to the unions.
Ansbro said all New York City employees were “given nine days to make a life-changing decision on their career.”
“And we’re going to live with the aftermath of this right now,” he said.
But de Blasio on Monday accused firefighters and police unions of lying about police and EMT shortages to “make people worried.”
“In the last 48 hours there’s been a lot of misinformation out there, a lot of reports fire houses closed when they weren’t, a lot of hearsay honestly. The factual answer is going to come from City Hall. There’s a lot of rumor mill and in fact it’s being done by certain unions to try and make people worried,” the mayor said at a news conference.
New York City, nevertheless, has issued a call for firefighters from Long Island and upstate New York to help fill a serious staffing shortage, DailyMail.com reported
Last Thursday, a massive crowd of firefighters opposed to the mandate assembled outside de Blasio’s official residence, Gracie Mansion, with signs that read “Essential Workers aren’t Disposable Heros (sic),” “My Body My Choice” and “#Natural Immunity.”
New York City school unions warned late last week of chaos as the deadline drew near.
Meanwhile, in Chicago on Monday, a judge suspended Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Dec. 31 deadline for police officers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the county’s vaccine mandate is causing a “mass exodus” in his department, threatening public safety as violent crime is on the rise.
And another Democratic mayor is admitting for the first time after imposing a vaccine mandate on municipal workers that there is a policing crisis in her city.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan acknowledged in a news release that was quietly dumped at 6:30 p.m. Friday that there are “critical ongoing staffing challenges in 911 Dispatch and the Seattle Police Department,” reported KTTH Seattle talk-radio host Jason Rantz
“Seattle cannot keep waiting to address the real public safety officer hiring and retention crisis we are experiencing in Seattle right now,” the mayor said.
Rantz says flatly that the police department staffing is a “catastrophe,” and the department “does not have enough staff to keep this city safe.”
SPD must borrow non-patrol units every day to meet minimum staffing needs. Resident who call 911 are not getting an immediate response. A source told Rantz it can take up to an hour for non-emergency calls to be addressed.
Durkan is using her executive authority to offer a $25,000 signing bonus to lateral officers and $10,000 for new hires.
She said “more than 250 officers have left the department, but Rantz pointed out that the exodus is much higher.
Since last year, at least 335 officers have left amid the City Council’s attacks on policing, embracing far-left activists pushing “defund police” rather than public safety.
“But vaccine mandate made the staffing issue much worse,” Rantz wrote. “The press release completely ignores the mandate-caused catastrophe.”
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