Indianapolis, IN – Law enforcement leaders and government officials in Indiana are enthusiastically recruiting Chicago police officers who have left the department or are facing termination for refusing to comply with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate.
“Our police do the hardest job in the world, and they deserve respect — not losing their pay or being fired for refusing to comply with a ridiculous vaccine mandate,” Braun said.
The senator urged the “3,000 Chicago cops defying this government overreach” to come work in nearby Indiana instead, FOX News reported.
“Indiana’s police departments are hiring now and will welcome you with the respect you deserve,” Braun said. “My office stands ready to help connect Chicago police officers to an Indiana police department that is hiring now and doesn’t have a vaccine mandate. Welcome to Indiana!”
Indiana State Police (ISP) Sergeant Glen Fifield sent out a tweet Tuesday inviting Chicago police to come on over.
“Hey Chicago Police Officers, we’re hiring! No vaccine mandate. Apply today,” Sgt. Fifield wrote. “Lower taxes, great schools, welcoming communities.”
Munster Police Chief Steve Scheckel said his department has already hired an individual from Chicago, FOX News reported.
“We’ve been seeing more and more Chicago police officers when we do an emergency hire, which is basically a lateral transfer,” Chief Scheckel explained.
He noted these officers come with a lot of experience and said he is absolutely open to being able to work with those who may have been fired from the Chicago police force and are “looking for a better quality of life for their family,” FOX News reported.
Ousted Chicago cops can find a “brighter future over the border,” the chief told FOX News.
“Here in northwest Indiana, in Munster, we have one of the top-rated school systems in the state,” Chief Scheckel pointed out. “[Officers] can send their kids to public school. It’s a low-crime community. Even though we’re 30 minutes from Chicago, we’re rated one of the 10 safest cities in the state of Indiana. So, it’s really just a step across the state line to a better life for the officer.”
Chief Scheckel, who has been with the department for over 30 years, said there is “a clear contrast between what’s going on in the city of Chicago right now and what’s happening in the state of Indiana,” FOX News reported.
“From the governor on down, in Indiana, we support our law enforcement,” he said.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown confirmed on Tuesday that a total of 21 officers have been stripped of their police powers and placed on unpaid leave so far for refusing to disclose their vaccination status, WFLD reported.
Approximately 67 percent of the agency’s officers have complied with Lightfoot’s mandate to enter their vaccination status into the city’s portal, but only 82 percent of those respondents said they are vaccinated, Superintendent Brown added.
The superintendent has threatened to withhold the pensions of officers who choose to retire from the department after not complying with Lightfoot’s mandate.
“Sworn members who retire while under disciplinary investigations may be denied retirement credentials,” Superintendent Brown warned in a police memo issued on Oct. 17, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Lightfoot gave the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) 12,000 officers until midnight on Oct. 14 to disclose their vaccine status or face unpaid suspension, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President John Catanzara told the Associated Press.
In order to avoid being placed on unpaid leave, officers were required to either provide proof of vaccination or consent to being tested for the virus twice weekly, WFLD reported.
The twice-weekly testing option is available to workers only until the end of the year, when vaccination will be the only option without an approved religious or medical exemption, according to FOX News.
Lightfoot said on Oct. 15 that the city would spend the weekend reviewing the status of the officers who haven’t complied with her order before they are placed on unpaid leave, the Associated Press reported.
She said everyone should keep showing up to work until their supervisors tell them they’ve been suspended.
“My expectation is that people who swore an oath to serve and protect the city are going to honor that oath and they’re going to show up, they’re going to report for duty, and they’re going to comply with a legal directive from the city and an order from the police department,” the mayor declared on Oct. 14, according to FOX News. “Anything less would be insubordination.”