Herd immunity. Against compassion and intelligence.

Even bank robbers are smart enough to wear masks. But not cops.

“It’s a personal choice that everyone’s going to make.”

Steve Grammas, a Las Vegas detective and president of the city’s police union. Quoted by The Washington Post, May 2, 2021.

Here’s a study by The Washington Post that finds what we all know: cops refuse not only to wear masks, but also to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Hell: even dogs have to be vaccinated just to get a county dog license. (And who is more prone to rabies: dogs or cops?)

Excerpted from The Washington Post, May 2, 2021:

Many police officers spurn coronavirus vaccines as departments hold off on mandates

Low immunization levels suggest hesitancy is pervasive, posing risks to public safety

By Isaac Stanley-Becker

May 2, 2021 at 12:21 p.m. PDT

Police officers were among the first front-line workers to gain priority access to coronavirus vaccines. But their vaccination rates are lower than or about the same as those of the general public, according to data made available by some of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies.

The reluctance of police to get the shots threatens not just their own health, but also the safety of people they’re responsible for guarding, monitoring and patrolling, experts say….

….Police officers were more likely to die of covid-19 last year than of all other causes combined, according to data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Police hesitancy also means officers may be vectors of spread to vulnerable people with whom they interact during traffic stops, calls for service and other high-contact encounters….

…. One solution is for departments to make vaccination compulsory, according to experts in bioethics and public health, just as some health-care settings and institutions of higher education have begun doing.

But department leaders and union officials said in interviews that such requirements could backfire or lead to lengthy litigation. Of more than 40 major metropolitan police departments contacted by The Post, none had made vaccination compulsory for employees.

That reflects a belief among officers — and their unions — that getting a shot is a private decision.

“I hate to sound like I don’t care, but I really don’t,”

Vince Champion, the Atlanta-based southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers

“I hate to sound like I don’t care, but I really don’t,” Vince Champion, the Atlanta-based southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, said of low vaccination rates. “It’s a personal decision. We fight [the virus] every day. We’re out among every disease in the world.”

Authorities in roughly half the departments, from Philadelphia to Houston to San Francisco, were not even tracking how many of their officers were protected. That baffled Chris Cosgriff, executive director of the Officer Down Memorial Page, which honors law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty….

Commanders should know whether officers are vulnerable to “getting sick and potentially dying,” he said. “It’s a readiness issue….”

….Committed to that view of vaccination as a personal matter, officials in scores of large cities said they are not tracking inoculations. “Because it’s strictly voluntary, we prefer not to intrude in privacy issues,” said Alvaro Zabaleta, a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Department….

….Limited data makes it impossible to know whether mandates are appropriate, said Noel Brewer, a professor of public health behavior at the University of North Carolina….

A dilemma about mandates

The experience of the few law enforcement agencies requiring employees to be vaccinated illustrates why such decisions are often fraught.

Mandates issued in January for employees of the sheriff’s department in Durham County, N.C., and emergency workers in Doña Ana County, N.M., prompted federal lawsuits contending that vaccines authorized for emergency use cannot be made a condition of employment.

The claims cite language from the Food and Drug Administration’s fact sheet describing covid-19 immunization as a “choice,” as well as assurances from federal health officials that “vaccines are not allowed to be mandatory.” The complaint of a Durham County sheriff’s deputy, who was dismissed after he refused to provide proof of vaccination, alleges that he was confronted with “the Hobson’s choice of either being forced to take an experimental, unapproved vaccine against his will, or being fired, stigmatized, and having his life upended.”

Mandatory vaccination, especially for police, is politically charged. The dispute in Durham County gained notice in the right-wing media, where a Facebook page called “Thin Blue Line” posted a January article attacking the requirement as “communism” in a group with more than 73,000 members titled “We Support Our Police.”

Vaccine mandates are likely to pass legal muster, according to specialists in employment law, providing they adhere to guidance issued last year by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission outlining exceptions for disability and religious belief. The broad authority of states and localities to protect public welfare would encompass compulsory vaccination of police, said Catherine Ruckelshaus, legal director of the National Employment Law Project.

But most police leaders see the legal and union fights as minefields they’d rather avoid. “We have made a very deliberate decision not to mandate it for staff,” said Joseph Chacon, chief of the Austin Police Department, who has refrained from questioning officers about their immunization status, saying they have “trepidation in thinking we might be trying to track that somehow, which we’re not.”

Pazen, the chief in Denver, said he fears the legal ramifications of a mandate and would “prefer to get voluntary compliance….”

Isaac Stanley-BeckerFollow

Isaac Stanley-Becker is a national political reporter.

From <https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/05/02/police-low-vaccination-rates-safety-concerns/>

From The Tumalo Lookout:

“It’s a personal choice that everyone’s going to make.”

Steve Grammas, a Las Vegas detective and president of the city’s police union . Quoted by The Washington Post, May 2, 2021.

Blah blah blah. Yeah yeah.

But the “personal” decisions you make reflect your intelligence, your politics, and your reliability.

And way too many of cops’ “personal” decisions keep telling me that too many of them aren’t good enough to be American peace officers.

Like the decisions to not get vaccinated and not wear masks.

Those decisions show a self-centered, thoughtless, arrogant lack of compassion and consideration for others.

They reflect a lack of concern for the health, safety, and welfare of everyone around you.

Like your colleagues, your loved ones, and the public you serve.

If you won’t put these people before your personal inconvenience, just what the hell good are you as a cop?

You’re not.

You’re a disgrace.

And something else:

The “personal” decisions you make reflect poorly on your entire profession.

I’ll keep saying it:

Probably half of all cops are on the left side of the Integrity Curve.

And that also just happens to be the left side of the bell curve for… you guessed it… IQ.

Meaning, they’re below average. For both integrity and intelligence.

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