PHILADELPHIA - Friday is the deadline for all Philadelphia police officers to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or have submitted an exemption request.
Officers who are not vaccinated by Friday, Feb. 11, will be required to wear two masks or wear an N95 and participate in daily testing. Officers who receive their first dose by Friday will be required to complete their vaccination series and follow the same masking and testing requirements as unvaccinated officers until their vaccination schedule is complete.
FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby has encouraged all members to fill out an exemption by Feb. 18, if needed.
If a request for exemption is denied after the Feb. 11 deadline, those officers will be required to get their first dose of the vaccine within 14 days of the denial of that request, or denial of their appeal.
By Feb. 18, 2022, updated figures with the details of vaccinated and unvaccinated officers will be sent to the arbitration panel to review. The panel will meet no later than March 21 to determine full consequences for officers who do not comply.
Barring further action from the panel, officers who have not requested an exemption or provided proof of their first COVID-19 dose by Feb. 28, 2022, will be placed on unvaccinated leave beginning March 1, 2022. Additionally, unvaccinated officers will begin facing a punishment decided by the panel on March 1, 2022.
Those placed on unvaccinated leave will be required to use their paid vacation, holiday or compensatory time and health benefits will not be available to them, according to the city.
For officers with no paid vacation, holiday or compensatory time, the unvaccinated leave will be unpaid. If an officer’s unpaid leave extends beyond 15 days it will be considered a break in service.
As an incentive to promote vaccinations, the city also offered rewards to officers including:
- $500 for officers who received their first dose by Friday and provide proof of full vaccination by March 15, 2022.
- $300 reward for officers who get their first dose on or before Feb. 18, 2022, and provide proof of their full vaccination status by March 22, 2022.
- $100 for officers who receive their first dose on or before Feb. 28, 2022, and give proof of full vaccination by March 29, 2022.
"As public servants, we bear a responsibility to mitigate the harm that would result from inadvertent transmission of COVID-19 to our colleagues and the public and to set an example for other organizations and companies," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "Our police officers are on the front lines – sworn to protect and serve our residents with honor and I want to thank them for their steadfast service in the face of adversity."
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