Phoenix councilman calls city vaccine mandate an attack on police

Nov 19, 2021, 8:48 AM | Updated: 9:02 am
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
(City of Phoenix Photo)
(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio called the new COVID-19 vaccine requirement for city employees an attack on police that will worsen ongoing officer shortages.

“We’re losing 25 police officers a month, 100 every four months,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday. “We’re already down over 1,000 officers than where we need to be.”

DiCiccio, a vocal supporter of police during his time in office, alleged that the mandate is part of an effort by some of his colleagues in city government to drive out more officers.

“It’s meant to attack them at various levels,” he said, “attack them personally, attack their families and now go after them this way.”

The policy emailed to city employees Thursday sets a Jan. 18 date for them to be fully vaccinated, regardless of telework status or a previous positive test.

Employees will have to submit a vaccination card that shows they have had two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine unless granted a religious or medical accommodation.

The city cited an executive order from President Joe Biden requiring compliance for federal contractors, but DiCiccio questioned the legitimacy of that explanation.

“It was done at the direction of the mayor and council, they are the ones that are responsible for this,” DiCiccio told KTAR News in an interview Thursday night.

He said that while the city does receive federal funding, it doesn’t make every employee a federal contractor.

“I’ve already sent a letter to the city manager asking him to identify exactly which contracts the city of Phoenix has. … I can tell you police, fire and some other personnel with the city of Phoenix are not contractors,” he said Friday.

“This is a bunch of B.S.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler-Oatley contributed to this report.

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Phoenix councilman calls city vaccine mandate an attack on police