Chicago Police Department restricts time off requests, preparing for fallout in wake of city’s vaccine mandate deadline

Midwest

CHICAGO (WGN) — Police brass appear to be bracing for a sizable number of officers to ignore the city’s vaccine mandate.

Days off are being canceled and any time off will require approval from a deputy chief or above, according to a new memo from First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter. The memo is being read at all roll calls for the next five days.

“Until further notice: The use of elective time off by all sworn CPD members is restricted,” the memo says. 

Canceling officers’ time off is typically reserved for the 4th of July and other times when the department is bracing for the possibility of a surge in violence. 

Canceling elective time off does not require officers to work seven days a week. Instead, it only impacts comp time and personal days off that require approval. Previously approved vacation time will not be impacted; however, new vacation requests must be approved. 

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara has predicted as many as half the department’s sworn officers may not comply with the city’s vaccine mandate. City workers had until midnight on Friday to submit their vaccination status.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has threatened to put officers who don’t comply with a vaccine or testing mandate on “no pay” status.

Lightfoot on Friday filed a complaint against the police union as the deadline for city workers to submit their vaccination status approached. In court Friday, Catanzara was temporarily barred from publicly commenting on the issue.

Later that same day, he posted a video on YouTube with a message that read “John Catanzara for Mayor 2023” in front of a black-and-white United States flag with a blue stripe.

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