Less than half of LMPD’s force vaccinated against COVID
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New data from the Louisville Metro Police Department show less than half of all officers are vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been given to 48% of sworn and civilian members. This is significantly lower than the overall vaccination rate in Jefferson County, which is 69%.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 460 American law enforcement officers have died from COVID-19 infections linked to their work, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. The coronavirus is the most common cause of duty-related deaths nationwide in 2020 and 2021.
LMPD and the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections have the lowest vaccination rates of any city department, according to city data.
COVID-19 does not appear to be a concern for these many officers, according to Daniel Johnson of the Fraternal Order of Police. They were still active in 2020 when everyone else was working from home.
“The majority of my members that have contracted the virus and they came out of it unscathed with hardly any symptoms at all,” Johnson said. “So for them, they’re like ‘is it worth the risk of taking a vaccination that I don’t know how it’s going to affect me five or 10 years from now?”
COVID-19 has claimed the life of one LMDC officer in Louisville. Nonetheless, Johnson said that the FOP would oppose a vaccine mandate because he believes it would cause more harm than good based on the staffing shortage at LMPD and LMDC.
“We would see a group of people who will quit their jobs and go elsewhere. And we can’t afford to lose anybody right now,” Johnson said.
He added that a vaccine mandate could be unavoidable based on national trends.
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