Police Services Board to discuss vaccination of officers

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Mayor Drew Dilkens says officers with the Windsor Police Service should be vaccinated.

City Council previously voted to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for all municipal workers and asked subsidiary entities like ENWIN, the Tunnel Corp and WPS to do the same. 

Speaking on AM800's Morning Drive, Dilkens says residents expect that officers will follow the standard set in other jurisdictions already.

"As Mayor and as chair of the Police Services Board, if a resident in this city calls 9-1-1 or calls the non-emergency number and asks for police service you want to know that the officer who's coming to your house, and is likely coming into your house, is fully vaccinated."

The Windsor Police Services Board meets today, and one area of discussion is around whether they need to force the police service to implement a vaccination policy for officers. 

Dilkens says enough residents in Windsor drive by hospitals and see police cars lined up outside dealing with the challenges of mental health issues.

"As those officers spend time inside the emergency room, I mean every employee in the hospital has to be vaccinated. The elevator repair man that goes into the hospital has to be vaccinated and I think Windsor Police officers should be vaccinated as well," Dilkens said.

Dilkens believes there shouldn't be a disparity in city policy where one class of city worker is required to get vaccinated or go on unpaid leave while they create exceptions for others.

"Of course we will always deal with legal accommodations and medical issues that we have to as an employer," he continued. "But if it's just a choice I think on the police side we have to mirror the city policy which is vaccinate or go on an unpaid leave.")

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released guidance on Wednesday that it's a legitimate requirement for all organizations to have all employees vaccinated or go on unpaid leave during the pandemic, something Dickens believes will apply to police as well. 

The Windsor Police Services board meeting begins at 1:30 p.m.