London Police: 90% of active duty members are fully vaccinated

London police headquarters on Dundas St. file photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News

As vaccine mandates and requirements become more common all over Ontario, London police say a large majority of their employees have rolled up their sleeve to protect against COVID-19.

According to a news release from London police sent on Tuesday, 90% of active duty members have been fully vaccinated.

Among those who have not been vaccinated, police say several employees are in the process of becoming fully vaccinated and others have submitted requests for accommodation.

“I’m very pleased with the level of compliance we are seeing from our members,” Chief Steve Williams said in the release. “As it has been throughout the pandemic, it remains our goal to ensure the health and safety of all members of the LPS as well as the community we serve, in accordance with governing legislation and the advice and recommendations of public health authorities.”

Officers and employees had until Friday to submit proof that they had been fully vaccinated, or provide documentation to say they’re exempt under the Ontario Human Rights code.

Those who have not provided an exemption or proof of vaccination will have to take part in COVID-19 education sessions. They could also be subject to reassignment, removal from active duty, being placed on an unpaid leave of absence, or face other disciplinary action that could include termination.

“The odds are extremely good that every member out there – or the vast majority – are vaccinated,” Williams told LondonNewsToday.ca. “We can move individuals – if it comes to that – to move individuals to less visible, less public roles.”

“The public can be assured that they’re safe, and officers are doing everything in their ability to ensure that.”

Williams was unable to say how many officers are partially vaccinated, or how many have requested an exemption.

“Everybody has their own situation and their own story. There is some fear, anxiety, apprehension, about the vaccine, with some people,” he said. “If there’s an accommodation, that’s obviously very personal.”

London Police website says they have just under 900 sworn and civilian members, Williams said.. That means just over 800 are at least two weeks past their second dose.

According to the province, 83.24% of eligible people in the province have been fully vaccinated, while 87.53% of those eligible have received at least one dose. Locally, as of October 16, 84.1% of people over the age of 12 in Middlesex-London have received two shots of the vaccine.

Chief Williams spoke with 519 Podcast host Craig Needles about vaccination rates among London Police officers and you can hear that conversation below.