Chicago Fraternal Police union president: City is refusing to let cops protect citizens of Chicago

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police union president John Catanzara said Monday that there might be a "a lot less officers on the street" if the city enforces its COVID policies.

Chicago is requiring city employees to upload their vaccine status into a database. Employees who are not vaccinated are required to undergo regular testing.

Catanzara, who has compared the COVID requirements to Nazi Germany, said Monday that the real issue is that the city is violating the union's collective bargaining rights.

"If our officers hold the line, there's going to be a lot less officers on the street if they're going to send them home with no pay," he said. "I mean if I'm not getting paid, I'm not coming to work. I think everybody can understand that simple concept." 

Catanzara said that the blame lies on the city, who he said could resolve the conflict with an arbitrator.

"They can put out any policy they want but those policies are subject to union contract negotiations. Our position from day one is that the order is improper and unethical because it violates our collective bargaining rights," he said.

Catanzara said in the meantime, the police department has put restrictions on time-off requests.

"[Officers are] not refusing to protect the citizens of Chicago. The city is refusing to let them protect the citizens of Chicago," he said.

Over the weekend, Catanzara bemoaned the lack of support from the city's aldermen and said that most would be targeted in the next election.