News and Analysis

Suburban Chicago Police Asked To Go To Chicago In Case Of Police Walkout Over Vaccine Mandate
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 15: Police stand guard as pro and anti-police demonstrators are expected to gather outside of the Homan Square police station on August 15, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstration was one of several in the city today, either in support of or in opposition to police. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Illinois State Police and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency have instructed a number of police departments in the suburbs of Chicago to contribute officers in case of a shortage of police officers, according to a report from Chicago’s WGN9 TV.

According to the report, an Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) coordinator sent emails to a number of suburban police departments asking them to volunteer the services of their specialist units, and what their response times would be.

From Chicago’s WGN:

WGN Investigates has learned a coordinator from the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) sent an email to a dozen police officials from Kankakee to Barrington asking them to ask members of their specialized units whether they would be willing to respond to critical situations in Chicago – and how quickly they could get there.

“To be clear, if members of the ILEAS Special Teams programs are requested, it would be for emergency situations, NOT for routine police assistance and the answering of calls for service within the city limits.  Illinois State Police and Cook County Sheriff’s Office would be tasked with the patrol needs,” the email read…

The Cook County Sheriff’s department already works with Chicago police in some targeted high crime neighborhoods. 

However, Cook County only has 300 sworn officers so their presence wouldn’t come close to filling the void that could be created if Mayor Lightfoot follows through on her threat to suspend the thousands of Chicago officers who had still not reported their vaccination status as of Monday afternoon.  

One department has already refused.

Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain told WGN he would not send his deputies to the city because of the political agendas of Mayor Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

“I will not send my personnel to Chicago unless an officer is under direct duress because I cannot support this slanted agenda,” he said. “I also will not allow my deputies to be subjected to use of force in the City and be under the prosecutorial jurisdiction of the Cook County State’s Attorney.”

The city of Chicago is in danger of a significant police shortage as the city’s police union clashes with Mayor Lightfoot over the city’s vaccine mandate.

All city workers were ordered to submit their vaccination status by Oct. 15, and unvaccinated workers were ordered to submit to twice-weekly COVID testing, on their own time and at their own expense, until December 31, when all city workers would be ordered to be fully vaccinated. Failure to submit vaccination records and failure to submit to testing would result in the individual being placed on unpaid leave.

To date, only 64% of the Chicago Police Department, around 8200 people out of 12,700 total, have submitted their vaccination status to the city. Of those, just under 6900 reported that they were vaccinated, just over half the total number of employees, while some 1300 were not vaccinated.

The President of the Chicago Police Union, John Catanzara, has told officers to “hold the line,” saying he believes the city has no authority to mandate medical records or vaccination. The city and its police union are currently in the process of suing each other over the vaccine mandate. 

Lightfoot was adamant that the number of non-compliant officers was low and that the city had contingency plans in place.

“I don’t engage in a lot of hypotheticals. Obviously, we have contingency plans in place for some time,” she said. “What we’re seeing is the number of folks who are after being given the opportunities and direct order saying no is very small. I’m not seeing that there is going to be any disruption in our ability to keep our neighborhoods safe, we have to keep plugging away at this that will play itself out over the next couple days.

But to date, the mayor has already stripped 19 officers of their police powers and has cut back on officers’ ability to take time off in the wake of the expected shortage, which according to Catanzara, could be as much as 50% of the force.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Suburban Chicago Police Asked To Go To Chicago In Case Of Police Walkout Over Vaccine Mandate