The New York Police Department (NYPD) is preparing for a “potential mass exodus” over far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Chinese coronavirus vaccine mandate, the New York Post reported on Thursday.
According to the report, police officials issued several memos on Thursday for police officers who wish to retire rather than get jabbed and reserved an auditorium on Friday “for the NYC Police Pension Fund to process retirement paperwork with at least 20 years on the job.” Anyone who has worked less than 20 years and wishes to resign is being asked to come to the auditorium on Saturday.
“This is to assist members who wish to retire due to the vaccination mandates,” the memo read, according to the report.
Police officers must show proof they have received at least one shot by 5 p.m. on Friday — employees who do not comply will be put on unpaid leave beginning Monday. As of Thursday, at least 25 percent of NYPD employees remained unvaccinated. The mandate also applies to firefighters, garbage collectors, and most other city workers.
A police source slammed the “haphazard communications” about the “retirement scramble,” noting that officials issued the memos just four days before the requirement goes into effect.
“This it’s just comical now,” the source told the Post. “This is all a mess.”
The head of the Detective Endowment’s Association (DEA) told Post that 9,000 to 10,000 NYPD members are eligible to retire or “vest out,” meaning they could opt for a “delayed and lesser retirement package,” the report states.
“There was no reason to rush this,” said DEA President Paul DiGiacomo, noting that the mandate could have a “devastating effect on public safety” if the department loses too many employees. DiGiacomo told the publication:
The only reason the mayor is rushing this is for his own political gain. He’s got intentions of running for governor and he has nothing to hang his hat on right now other than to say he has the most vaccinations in the country by forcing people to do it.
President of the Police Benevolent Association Pat Lynch said de Blasio’s mandate “sets the city up for a real crisis,” the Associated Press reported.
“Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, warned longer response times will ‘be a death sentence to some people,”’ the report continued.
The mayor insisted during a virtual news briefing that his job and the purpose of the vaccine mandate is to “keep people safe.”
“And until we defeat COVID, people are not safe. If we don’t stop COVID, New Yorkers will die,” he said, not noting that first responders kept the public safe and bore the brunt of the pandemic before vaccines were even available.
On Wednesday, a Staten Island judge rejected the police union’s request for a temporary restraining order on the mandate.
However, “she ordered city officials into her courtroom next month to explain why the requirement shouldn’t be reversed. If the mandate is deemed illegal, workers put on leave will be given back pay…” according to the report.