President of Police Association Ontario says it's time for Windsor to remove mandates

AM800-News-Windsor-Police-Headquarters

The President of Police Association Ontario believes it's time for Windsor and Stratford to remove COVID-19 vaccine mandates for police service workers.

Windsor and Stratford are the last services left in Ontario that still have mandates in place.

 In October the Windsor Police Service Board approved a policy mandating proof of vaccination.

Those who failed to meet the deadline were placed on unpaid leave.

Speaking on AM800's Live and Local, Mark Baxter says there is a staffing crisis in the province.

"We're short on the frontlines, we're short in our com centres and other areas within all of our police services. We have able and willing members at home ready to come to work but we have employers in Windsor choosing to keep people at home."

Baxter says most police staff are on the same page when it comes to this issue.

He says mandates made sense at the time but it's time for the Windsor Police Service to move forward.

"We were in support of mandates that protected workers, what we wanted and pushed for provincially was for all police services to follow the lead of the Ontario government. We're not living in the same world now in June, that we were living in last year when these policies were put in place."

He says the vast majority of police services in the province have lifted mandates.

"There were only a few places that had mandatory policies of if you don't get vaccinated you can't come to work.  Large police services like Ottawa out to some of the smaller areas have lifted them but we have two outliers for whatever reason won't lift them, Windsor being one of them."

Currently less than two per cent of the WPS staff workforce has been put on unpaid leave for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.