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Police group clarifies stance on vaccine mandate

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 7:50 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Coalition of Police (RCOP) says they are not against the city’s vaccine mandate, nor the vaccines.

Mayor Levar Stoney made it clear three weeks ago that he wants city employees to get their shots.

“The city of Richmond is requiring that all employees are vaccinated,” he announced at an event earlier this month.

After the announcement, unions representing city police and firefighters announced their reservations.

The Richmond Firefighters Association Local 995 said in a letter to the city council that its members don’t have enough information on the vaccines to make a sound decision. Richmond Coalition of Police echoed that sentiment but clarified it today.

“We’re not against the mandate, and we’re not against the vaccine,” said RCOP President Brendan Leavy.

Leavy said they met with VDH earlier Monday to get answers to questions the group had on the vaccine.

In regards to mandate, the group had concerns about exemptions, or what would happen to employees who chose not to get vaccinated.

“We cannot be for or against something that we did not know the disciplinary actions would be,” Leavy said.

He added that other concerns revolved around the city’s website and uploading proof of vaccination.

“[Officers] do not want to share personal medical information on the city servers, which have been known to be hacked in years’ past.”

He mentioned wanting to work with the city for alternatives, perhaps with officers showing vaccination cards to their supervisors in person.

A spokesperson for Mayor Stoney’s office said that employees who did not update their vaccination status by the Aug. 18 deadline were notified by Human Resources and have until Sept. 1 to comply.

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