Toronto Police Service makes COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for officers, civilian staff

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The Toronto Police Service (TPS) is the latest organization in the city to require mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for its sworn officers and civilian staff members.

The service announced in a statement that all staff will have to disclose and provide proof of their vaccination status by Sept. 13.

It said the service has an “obligation to ensure a safe workplace for TPS members and the public.”

“The safety of our members, our workplaces and the public is of utmost importance to us. Our members will be required to be fully vaccinated to protect each other and the communities we serve,” interim Chief James Ramer wrote.

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The statement noted accommodations will be made for members in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

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The Toronto Police Service joins the City of Toronto, TTC, Metrolinx, major banks, some hospitals and major event spaces in making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory.

While many other public-sector organizations have introduced regular COVID-19 testing provisions for unvaccinated staff members, it’s not currently known if such an option will exist for police personnel.

The Toronto Police Association, which represents nearly 8,000 uniformed and civilian members of the force, said it was opposed to the announcement.

“This announcement, however preliminary, is missing critical details that are central to understanding the impacts, timelines, or potentially alternative options available to our members,” said association president Jon Reid.

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“The TPA must make every effort to protect all of our members and therefore, does not support this mandatory vaccination announcement or mandatory disclosure.”

The association said the policy was announced with no documentation, procedures or orders in place to support it and added that it would be working with affected parties to explore collective options.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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