(CNN) COVID-19 is killing police officers around the country. But there’s still pushback from some law enforcement against vaccination requirements. Some cities and states are facing staffing shortages because of it.
Michael Weiskopf, a police officer in St. Petersburg, Florida, died from COVID-19.
Stephen Desfosses, an officer in Norton, Massachusetts, died from COVID-19.
Jessica Desfosses, Stephen’s wife, said, “It’s absolutely as bad as you would imagine to be raising two small girls without their dad.”
COVID-19 has become the leading cause of death for police officers since the pandemic began last year, that’s according to the officer down memorial page. But around the country, some police officers and unions are pushing back against vaccine requirements.
In Chicago, about 4,500 police officers didn’t report their vaccination status by October 15th as mandated by the city.
In Massachusetts, the head of the troopers’ union says state police are missing nearly 600 uniformed members because of their refusal to comply with the vaccination mandate.
In Seattle, the police union’s president said the force lost some 300 officers over the past 18 months.
In Washington State, a trooper filmed his final call after refusing to comply with the mandate. Washington State Police trooper Robert Lamay said, “This is the last time you’ll hear me in a state patrol car.”
And the Baltimore Police Union is telling officers not to reveal their vaccine status because of “collective bargaining issues” according to the Baltimore Sun.
But what could continued clashes mean for public safety?
Retired LAPD Police Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey said, “I think we’re going to have to see who blinks first.”