Denver to fire cops who turn down coronavirus vaccine, worsening shortage of law enforcement officers during time of increasing crime
By Ramon Tomey // Aug 11, 2021

Government workers in the city of Denver who refuse to get the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine could be disciplined and terminated. The announcement follows Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) Executive Director Robert McDonald's vaccination mandate for the city's approximately 10,000 workers. According to McDonald, all workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30.


Denver Department of Public Safety (DOS) Executive Director Murphy Robinson said he was prepared to punish and fire government workers who refuse to comply. "[Robert McDonald's] mandate says city employees shall be vaccinated. If our folks don't comply with it … then I am prepared to do what is necessary," Robinson said. The DPHE executive director's vaccine mandate applied to police officers, sheriff's deputies and firefighters working for the city.

Kelli Christensen, a spokeswoman for DOS, confirmed Robinson's remarks in an email sent to The Epoch Times. "Executive Director Robinson has been tasked to ensure all public safety staff are in compliance. [If] not, discipline – up to and including termination – could be imposed," she wrote in the email. However, Denver's vaccine mandate recognized exemptions on religious and medical grounds.

The Denver Police Protective Association (PPA) conducted an informal survey to find out how many of its members were inoculated against COVID-19. The PPA represented a majority of officers in the 1,494-member Denver Police Department. A total of 778 members responded, with 43 percent – 332 police officers – saying they received the COVID-19 vaccine.

The PPA later issued a statement saying the internal survey was done soon after COVID-19 vaccines became available. It added that nearly 70 percent of first responders were inoculated within three weeks after vaccinations began. Robinson nevertheless expressed concern over the survey results.

"I was shocked by those numbers. It wasn't until the PPA put [its] numbers out there that I grew concerned. I thought we had a lot more people vaccinated. If we truly do have 57 percent of our officers not vaccinated, then an order is necessary," Robinson told the Denver Post.

More and more cities mandating COVID-19 vaccines for employees

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock hinted at the sanctions when he announced the vaccine mandate during a press conference. "Obviously, there are consequences for not following the order," he told reporters. Hancock continued: "No one wants to see another stay-at-home order to stop a crisis that threatens to overwhelm our hospitals."

Denver's vaccine mandate for employees followed that of the city of Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city will require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to COVID-19 testing weekly. He cited "an alarming spike in cases" in the city's workforce for his July 27 mandate.

Garcetti's spokesman Alex Comisar said that under the mandate, the heads of LA city departments must verify their employees' vaccination status by Aug. 13. Those who do not provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination must show negative COVID-19 tests results on a weekly basis, Comisar added.

Garcetti said in a later statement that the city could mandate COVID-19 vaccination for LA employees without offering testing as an alternative. He however clarified that this mandate would depend on the Food and Drug Administration granting full approval to the COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. (Related: LA requires city employees to take the coronavirus vaccine or get tested weekly.)

Over at the East Coast, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced similar plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for employees. On July 26, he announced that the city's vaccination-or-testing rule – previously mandated for healthcare workers – would be extended to more than 300,000 city employees. Under the rule, government workers must get the vaccine by Aug. 2 or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Aside from this, de Blasio also announced that unvaccinated employees would be required to wear face masks at all times. Those refusing to comply with the mask mandate would be sent home and not paid for the day, he added. (Related: Bill de Blasio says all NYC government workers must get vaccinated with experimental covid jabs or lose their jobs.) has more news about U.S. cities mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their employees.

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