CHICAGO - So what happens if the city of Chicago is short on officers amid the dispute over the vaccine mandate? At least three suburban counties say their departments will not be helping out.
A statewide law enforcement coalition told suburban police officials on Monday that the city could need help in an emergency, should officers be taken off the job over the mandate issue.
The Chicago Tribune reports the agency clarified this was only in case of serious catastrophic emergency — not routine duty.
The Kendall County Sheriff told the Tribune this was a self-induced emergency for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
The DuPage County Sheriff told FOX 32 that outside of a legitimate emergency, their office will not send officers to Chicago.
The Kane County Sheriff had a more detailed response, saying in part: "I believe the polarization between the community and police is only reinforced by current Chicago politics. I will not send my personnel to Chicago, unless an officer is under direct duress, because I cannot support this slanted agenda."
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police released the following statement regarding the situation.
"The following statement was issued by Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge President Chris Southwood after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked for help through the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) to replace Chicago police officers she has threatened to fire for not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine:
"We cannot force any law enforcement office to volunteer for 'Lightfoot duty,' just as no one should be able to force any officer to be injected with chemicals against their will. But for those who choose to volunteer to help or replace their Chicago brothers and sisters, remember that you are going into an unfamiliar, historically dangerous territory under brand new rules in the State of Illinois regarding use of force. These rules, which can, and likely will be, enforced by the Cook County State's Attorney, can put your career and freedom in jeopardy.
"Many ILEAS agencies are opposed to vaccine mandates and many of the officers in the agencies from which Mayor Lightfoot is requesting help are unvaccinated. So Mayor Lightfoot is willing to replace any CPD officer who is refusing the vaccine mandate with unvaccinated officers from other agencies.
"The Chicago Police Department is staffed by extremely dedicated and professional law enforcement officers that deserve the state's, and the city's, respect and gratitude. Let the police be the police, not pawns in a game of face-saving political one-upmanship."
The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. With a proud tradition of officers representing officers, the FOP is the most respected and most recognized police organization in the country. The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest State Lodge, proudly representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers - more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide. Visit www.ilfop.org for more information."