New York police officers opposing vaccination mandates received a setback when a judge denied their request to stop a city order requiring them to be inoculated against coronavirus that goes into effect tomorrow.
The Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the main law enforcement union, went to court last week in an attempt to overturn New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order for mandatory vaccinations for public employees.
The measure forcing inoculations began in August with teachers and healthcare employees, then spread to other agencies.
As PBA leader Patrick Lynch has warned on Twitter, this court ruling “sets the city up for a real crisis,” referring to the fact that employees who do not get vaccinated will be suspended from employment and pay until they prove otherwise.
“This not only violates police officers’ rights – it will inevitably result in fewer cops available to protect our city,” he asserted.
Lynch has also warned that union lawyers will challenge the ruling today in Long Island Supreme Court, where the case was filed.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea agreed that there is “a very real possibility” of that happening when the mandate goes into effect, and noted that the agency he heads is working on a plan for possible contingencies.
Meanwhile, firefighters who also reject mandatory vaccination will protest the mandate today in front of the mayor’s residence. It has also been reported that the absence of such personnel could affect the operations of several stations and the ambulance service, assigned to the Fire Department.