Chicago police chief: Officers could lose retirement benefits if they quit instead of getting vaccinated
By Zoey Sky // Oct 31, 2021

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has warned that officers could forfeit their retirement benefits if they choose not to get vaccinated against Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).


Brown advised officers who don't comply with Chicago's vaccination policy that they could lose both their jobs and retirement benefits. If this pushes through, almost 50 percent of the city's 13,000 cops could be terminated if they don't disclose their coronavirus vaccination status.

On Sunday, Oct. 17, Brown issued a memo warning officers that if they opt to retire instead of getting vaccinated, they might be "denied retirement credentials."

According to the Chicago Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund (PABF), officers with less than 10 years of service are unqualified for a pension. Instead, officers will have to apply to receive their contributions in a lump sum.

Erin Keane, executive director of PABF, explained that retirement benefits earned by sworn members of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) "are not impacted by compliance or noncompliance with the portal and vaccine mandate." Keane added that a memo sent earlier by First Deputy Eric Carter stated that all sworn members who retire while under a disciplinary investigation "may be denied retirement credentials."

Chicago is restricting cops from taking time off as the city prepares to fire almost half of its 13,000 officers who still haven't declared their coronavirus vaccination status.

Chicago mayor says city has withheld salary of several officers

On Monday, Oct. 18, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that the city has already stopped the pay of some officers who refused to cooperate with the mandate, adding that they will also be subjected to a disciplinary process.

Lightfoot also chastised the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) union and John Catanzara, the union's president. The mayor accused Catanzara of trying to encourage "an insurrection."

"What we've seen from the FOP and particularly the leadership is a lot of misinformation, a lot of half truth – and frankly flat-out lies – in order to induce an insurrection," said Lightfoot. She added that ignoring a directive of your supervisor or a direct order that's lawfully given will result in career suicide.

But contrary to her words, Lightfoot violated pandemic rules on Oct. 17. She ignored state and local mask mandates and was seen without a face mask at a basketball game.

Hostilities between Lightfoot and Catanzara began when the former issued a mandate that required Chicago's 13,000 police officers to disclose their coronavirus vaccination status by Oct. 15. Those who failed to do so will be put on an unpaid leave.

Catanzara responded by hinting at a strike, saying that almost 6,500 Chicago cops could become unemployed if the mandate is enforced. On Oct. 14, Lightfoot filed a complaint for injunctive relief against the FOP and Catanzara, saying that he was "engaging in, supporting and encouraging a work stoppage or strike."

The FOP filed its own complaint the following day for a temporary restraining order to force Chicago to go into arbitration over the mandate.

Catanzara speaks up for police officers

Catanzara does not support the mandate to report coronavirus vaccination status, saying that officers aren't required to comply with the order since the police department has its own policy. (Related: THOU SHALT NOT SPEAK: Judge says Chicago police union not allowed to discourage members from getting vaccinated for covid.)

In a video posted on Oct. 14, Catanzara told union members that if a superior orders them to submit their vaccination status to the city's COVID-19 portal, they can refuse because it would be "an improper and illegal order." He added that members should try to record any attempts to force them to follow the order on their body cameras.

According to First Deputy Eric Carter, the city's officers were expected to meet the deadline – unless they had an approved medical or religious exemption.

Carter added that under the city's rules, those who weren't vaccinated by Oct. 15 need to get tested twice per week on their own time and at their own expense until the end of 2021, when they would be required to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, a 22-year veteran of the CPD who wanted to remain anonymous said that Lightfoot has no right to push the vaccine mandate because the issue involves the freedom and choice of Chicago's police officers.

"Unfortunately you cannot give me a direct order that is outside of my collective bargaining rights," said the anonymous officer. "She may think it's for the greater good, unfortunately, each individual is in charge of their own life and their own health."

Visit for more updates on citizens who are taking a stand against vaccine mandates.

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