U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- While the president of the National Police Association is talking to Fox News about “costly litigation” over law enforcement suspensions or firings over COVID-19 vaccination resistance, and police agencies around the country braced for manpower shortages, caught in the middle of this clash are the citizens living in those jurisdictions, worrying about safe neighborhoods.
One message that probably caused angst for the public while city officials winced came from Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, as he chatted with KIRO News: “Be prepared to defend yourself and your family because it’s going to be a long time before a cop can get there. That’s not alarmist talk. That’s a reality.”
Gun ownership in Washington State is up, and the number of active concealed pistol licenses is springing back following a year-long decline because of the coronavirus. At last report, more than 98,100 residents in King County, which encompasses Seattle, were licensed to carry. Across Washington, more than 640,700 people have active CPLs.
The problem is not just in Seattle. In a YouTube video that has gone viral, a Washington State Patrol trooper signed off permanently over the weekend, telling Gov., Jay Inslee to “kiss my ass.” Trooper Robert LeMay, who patrolled Central Washington’s Yakima Valley area, thanked his colleagues for years of support and friendship, and helping make sure he made it home each night. But he would not comply with Democrat Inslee’s vaccine mandate for state employees.
In San Francisco, KPIX News noted that police and firefighters faced an Oct. 13 vaccination deadline. California has stricter gun control laws than Washington, but both states have so-called “universal background checks” and waiting periods on handguns.
Down in San Diego, KUSI News reported police officers are unable to speak publicly but have “privately confirmed they are strongly against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and willing to leave the force if the policy does not change.” The report noted the bad timing of this conflict, as the city “is experiencing a surge of violent crime under the leadership of Todd Gloria, making it the worst possible time to get rid of the people who protect and serve the community.”
The situation in Chicago, which Ammoland News covered earlier, has gotten no better, as WMAQ—the NBC affiliate—reported, “police officers have begun to face disciplinary action for not reporting their vaccination status.” John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, indicated “close to 50 officers were placed on unpaid status” as the city under Mayor Lori Lightfoot began enforcing the vaccination mandate.
A judge ordered Catanzara to stop making public statements and the city attorney reportedly accused him of “municipal sedition and treason,” according to NPR.
And according to WBBM Newsradio, Lightfoot “is feeling pressure” about the number of cops who have not reported their vaccination status. Almost one-third of the force is apparently not cooperating, while Lightfoot said only a small number of officers have been placed on “unpaid status.”
“I’m not seeing that there’s going to be any disruption in our ability to keep our neighborhoods safe,” Lightfoot reportedly said; a remark that could come back to haunt her with the city having chalked up 687 homicides so far this year, including 30 so far this month, according to heyjackass.com.
On the other side of this issue, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has declared he will not enforce the vaccination mandate, explaining he could lose possibly 10 percent of his workforce “overnight,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper said “hundreds of police officers in San Diego” apparently are considering quitting rather than comply with the mandate.
So, what about Solan’s advice to the citizens of Seattle? Crime is up there, also, and relief does not appear to be on the horizon. Seattle police say all commissioned officers, including detectives, are apparently suiting up to respond to normal calls. Outgoing Mayor Jenny Durkan—a liberal who infamously called last year’s violence-marked protests a “summer of love”—insisted at a presser the other day, “If someone calls 911, there will not be a significant impact on the response.” That remains to be seen.
Washington has a matter-of-fact self-defense/use-of-force statute. Time will tell whether it comes into play as the mandate battle unfolds.
But across the country, wherever police and sheriff’s deputies or state troopers are putting their careers on the line to resist vaccination mandates, private citizens may have to become their own first responders. If the “Defund Police” proponents want to see what anarchy looks like, they may get a front-row seat.
About Dave Workman