Consider this. About 50 officers a year have been shot dead in recent years. The threat that an officer could be killed by an armed suspect is used to justify police violence against civilians, including unarmed civilians, all the time. But, apparently, a virus that kills more than four times that number is not, for many police officers, reason enough to get a free and safe vaccine.
“If it were cops being shot in the streets of America today in this issue, there would be a scandal,” Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, Recount The New York Times. “This is an issue that requires leadership and puts politics aside. And this is exactly the opposite of what is happening now.
Instead, the Los Angeles County Sheriff will not apply a county vaccine warrant. San Jose, Calif., Gave in to whining from the police and allowed unvaccinated officers to stay until the end of the year. “Dozens” of soldiers from the state of Massachusetts threatened to resign rather than be vaccinated, and although only one did so when the threat was made public, the president of the The Massachusetts State Police Association still says dozens of resignations are coming. (There are about 1,500 uniformed state police officers in Massachusetts, so dozens could still be less than 2%.)
Orange County, Fla. Sheriff John Mina attributed some vaccine resistance to encounters with police “violent criminals carrying guns all the time, and I think they think that may be more of a threat. “Except that many more officers died from COVID-19 during the pandemic than from the hands of violent criminals carrying guns, so at a minimum their risk assessment is poor.
Local government leaders tell Times that agents have influence because there are many vacancies and few candidates. But so are other industries that have held on and have seen a lot of the cries of resignation rather than vaccination evaporate in the face of a credible threat of job loss. The major problem here seems that the police are used to doing whatever they want whenever they stink, and believe their feelings should trump public health. They should have learned differently before now, but it’s not too late for the lesson to come. What if, in the end, the police want to fund themselves rather than doing what it takes to protect themselves and the public from a deadly pandemic? I guess that’s their call.