JASON RANTZ

Seattle Police Chief asks officers to submit vaccine paperwork

Oct 16, 2021, 8:57 AM | Updated: Oct 18, 2021, 9:25 am
Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, unvaccinated officers, seattle police...
SPD Chief Adrian Diaz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

As the Oct. 18 deadline to prove COVID-19 vaccination or risk losing a job looms, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz sent a heartfelt memo to officers letting them know he doesn’t want to lose them.

He also asked them to “Get vaccinated. Submit your paperwork. Wear a mask.” The statement starts off:

I continue to be humbled and amazed by the steadfast commitment of the members of this department. Amidst all that has happened, you continue to serve this community with pride and professionalism. Thank you so much for your continued hard work.

I know right now tensions are high. I am aware of the many different reasons many of you have for not submitting proof of vaccination. I know there is anger. I am not going to argue with any of them.

I am going to tell you – I do not want to lose any of you. In the past almost two years, we have lost too many. We have seen friends and mentors leave. All of you have picked up the slack where possible, and in some cases, we have seen some work not get the same attention it once did.

Read the full statement, obtained by KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show here.

Officers were told last week to be prepared to move to “Stage 3 Mobilization,” handling 911 calls across Seattle.

“Every other unit outside of the patrol operations bureau is to report to work and be suited up in their uniform to be prepared to deploy to handle 911 calls,” Sergeant Randy Huserik told KIRO Radio.

Sgt. Huserik  stressed it’s only a contingency plan.

“Hopefully, we get our vaccine verification down to zero and this becomes a non-issue,” he said.

It’s unclear how many SPD officers will turn in their proof of vaccination before the Monday deadline. Huserik said that as of Wednesday, there were about 290 officers whose paperwork was not yet submitted.

Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told Dori Monson on KIRO Radio that he’s not sure exactly sure how many may leave, but it’s not looking good.

“This is the last straw with them as they feel that they’ve been targeted for just being cops here in the city, as they think that this mandate has been politicized,” Solan said.

Sources tell Jason Rantz that, year to date, 149 officers have already left the Seattle Police Department, bringing the total to 335 in the last two years.

Since April 2020, 169 Seattle Police Department employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the eligible population in King County (estimated at 1.95 million residents), 81.9% are fully vaccinated as of Oct. 15 (see data here).

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Seattle Police Chief asks officers to submit vaccine paperwork