For hundreds of public employees in the state of Washington, where a new vaccine mandate for state employees went into effect this week, Monday was their last day on the job. That includes a sergeant with the Washington State Patrol, who told KUOW, Seattle's NPR station, that he had made an appointment to turn in his patrol car and equipment.
In Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced earlier this month that he would not carry out the county's mandate for his department's 18,000 employees, warning that the nation's most populous county could lose "5, 10% of my workforce overnight."
And in Chicago, the clash between police and city officials over the city's vaccine mandate has grown so contentious that a judge ordered the local union president to stop making public statements after the city's attorney accused him of "municipal sedition and treason."
As vaccine mandates for public employees begin to take effect across the country, police officers and the unions that represent them are putting up a fight, frustrating officials who say their goal is to minimize deaths as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.
"More police officers die of COVID than they do in other causes of death, so it doesn't make any sense to not try to protect yourself as well as the colleagues that you work with," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease official, said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."