Toronto police officers who ignore the vaccine mandate will be placed on ‘indefinite absence without pay’

Police officers who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of November will be placed on an “indefinite absence without pay,” Toronto police announced Thursday.

“As of November 30, 2021, any member, uniform or civilian, who has not disclosed their vaccination status or is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will have become unable to perform their duties,” Toronto police said in a statement.

And effective immediately, unvaccinated officers, a category that includes anyone who has not disclosed their status to law enforcement, are not eligible for promotion. to supervisory or management positions.

“Vaccination against COVID-19 protects the health and safety of each of our members, our workplaces and the public we serve,” Toronto Police Chief James Ramer said in a statement.

The new penalties for non-compliance come two months after Canada’s largest municipal police force said it was introducing a mandatory vaccination policy for all 7,500 uniform and civilian employees, an announcement opposed by the Toronto Police Association. because “critical details” were missing. . “

Following an agreement with the union, Toronto police agreed not to discipline any officer who failed to disclose their immunization status before the deadline set last month.

According to Toronto police, 90 percent of employees have disclosed their status and of that 94 percent are fully vaccinated.

Toronto Police said the new work restrictions align with Toronto Police Services Board policy and are “consistent with the approach of the City of Toronto and its agencies, boards and commissions, other law enforcement services and many places of work of the public and private sector “.

Accommodation in accordance with the Human Rights Code “will be respected,” the Toronto police statement said.

More to come.

Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and police for The Star. Contact her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis

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