Two Illinois sheriffs said they would not send their deputies to fill in Chicago’s staffing shortages as Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot tries to force city police officers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain, a Democrat, told the Chicago Tribune that he did not “feel like the onus is on us to go in there in an emergency situation that was created by poor government and a lack of support the officers receive.”
Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird, a Republican, agreed, saying he was not willing to put his officers at risk to respond to Lightfoot’s “self-induced emergency.”
DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, another Republican, said he would not withhold his deputies from helping in an emergency, but he pointed out how hypocritical it would be for Lightfoot to replace unvaccinated Chicago officers with potentially unvaccinated officers from his county.
“It doesn’t make sense to say ‘I only want my residents touching vaccinated people, but I’m going to send all these potentially unvaccinated people from other municipalities to replace them,’” he said.
Twenty-one Chicago police officers were placed on “no pay” status this week for refusing to comply with Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate. Only 67% of the city’s police force has submitted their vaccination status.
Lightfoot blamed the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police union for officers’ hesitance to get the shot, accusing union officials of inciting an “insurrection” against her mandate.
“What we’ve seen from the Fraternal Order of Police, in particular leadership, is a lot of misinformation, a lot of half-truths, and, frankly, flat out lies in order to induce an insurrection,” Lightfoot claimed.
“And we’re not having that,” she continued. “And so we want to make it very, very clear that the law is on our side. We feel very confident about it.”