Most SPD workers—sworn and civilian—are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Six chose not to comply with the mandate, and the city says the "separation process" is underway with them, including a legal meeting. The 103 employees waiting on exemptions are currently on paid time off while the department works out what accommodations to make for them coming back.
The department expects impacts to service, especially when paired with SPD's staffing loss during and after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.
To mitigate this, the department will buff up patrols with Community Response Group officers first, before resorting to detectives and non-patrol employees.
"We will continue to respond to emergency situations. We will continue to investigate crimes. We will continue to work to keep the City of Seattle safe," reads a statement from SPD, "We at the Seattle Police Department know we are public servants. We swore an oath to protect and serve our community and each other, and we take that oath very seriously. We are committed to helping others."
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