SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department (SPD) said 292 sworn officers have not shown proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status as of Oct. 6, one day after the department's deadline. The numbers show an improvement from 354 officers not showing proof on Oct. 5.
In August, the city of Seattle adopted Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate that state employees and health care workers be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or be fired. There is not a COVID-19 testing option, but employees can apply for religious or medical exemptions.
Oct. 4 was the last day to receive the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and still make the deadline to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.
The 292 officers that have not submitted proof of their vaccination status represent about 27% of SPD's sworn officers. The department said 782 officers have shown vaccination proof.
The department could be facing a significant staffing challenge soon.
Chief Adrian Diaz said in a letter to staff, “This could create a disruption to unit of assignments."
Diaz said Seattle police have put together staffing plans to continue emergency and legally mandated services after the vaccination deadline. But to avoid disruptions and have the most accurate staffing count for planning, Diaz had urged workers to get vaccinated and submit their proof of vaccination.