Union Sues NYC to Keep Non-Vaccinated NYPD Detectives From Getting Fired
By: Hadassa Kalatizadeh
A union is suing the city of New York in a bid to keep detectives from losing their jobs for not getting the COVID-19 vaccination.
As reported by the NY Post, this week the Detectives’ Endowment Association filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court hoping to block the city from firing at least 30 NYPD detectives who opted not to get vaccinated. The suit argues that firing these detectives, on June 3rd, would be detrimental in a city already besieged with a rise in crime.
As part of the city’s vaccine mandate, city employees including cops and detectives were required to be vaccinated by Oct. 29. More than 13,000 city workers filed for exemptions, including over 6,000 cops. The detectives union said that firing these 30 detectives, and some of the detectives who still have pending religious and medical exemptions, “will eliminate approximately 10% of the rank dedicated and trained to combat and investigate the crimes that befall the citizenry of the city on almost a daily basis,” as per the suit. The lawsuit says that already 38 unvaccinated detectives receiving letters of termination last week.
“When the city needs detectives the most, in order to deal with and investigate the significant rise in crime, respondents, through the misguided justification of the mandate, seek to eliminate the best crime fighting force in the city,” the suit alleges. The suit hopes a court can keep the city from moving forward with the layoffs, explaining that the city needs the detectives for their expertise and to train the next generation of detectives. “This ‘brain drain’ … will exacerbate the existing rise in crime because the department cannot simply plug in a new ‘number’ to fill this void,” the court papers say. “The need for a well-staffed, properly-trained, and seasoned police force is imperative during these troubling times,” adds the filing. The suit calls the layoffs “arbitrary and capricious” saying it “lacks a sound basis in fact.”
The suit also points out that we have entered the endemic, and already mask mandates and social distancing requirements have been removed at city school, gyms, and indoor dining venues. Vaccine mandates have already been lifted for sports athletes and other performers.
For now, City Hall seems to be standing its ground. City Hall Spokesman Johan Allon told The Post: “Numerous courts have already held that the city’s vaccine mandate for public employees is lawful and enforceable.” “All city workers – unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation – have had to comply with this mandate as a condition of their employment. We will defend this in court,” he added.
About 91 percent of the NYPD was vaccinated as of May 10th, a NYPD spokesperson told the Post. The rep declined to answer questions regarding how many detectives remain unvaccinated and how many were fired as a result. In February, the city had fired 1,400 municipal workers who refused to be vaccinated, including 36 members of the NYPD. Earlier in May, the police department had put a hold on firing up to 5,000 more employees, due to concerns of the uptick in crime expected over the summer.