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No plans yet for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for Waterloo Regional Police

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Waterloo Regional Police say there are currently in wait-and-see mode after Toronto police announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the force told Global News that it is presently looking into the issue as it looks to make an informed decision on whether it should implement such a policy.

“Region of Waterloo Public Health and medical evidence highlights that being fully vaccinated is an important step in bringing WRPS safely out of the COVID-19 pandemic and carries with it several public health benefits, including personal health and wellness and protection of our members and those at risk, as well as vulnerable populations that our members may interact with in the course of their duties, employment, directly an/or indirectly,” Waterloo Regional Police spokesperson Cherri Greeno told Global News in an email.

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

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“We are monitoring the vaccinations of our members to assist us in understanding what portion of our membership are fully vaccinated, as well as help us support operational and administrative planning, consistent with our obligations under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide a safe and healthy workplace.”

On Tuesday, Toronto Police Service announced it would be making vaccinations mandatory for both civilian and non-civilian members of the force, joining many other services in Ontario’s biggest city in making the move.

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

Read more: Kitchener, Waterloo Region considering COVID-19 mandates for employees

Down the road in Waterloo, the region and City of Kitchener also both said last week they were considering the idea but provided no firm details on a plan.

Over in Guelph, the police are also taking a wait-and-see approach to mandatory vaccinations.

“Currently, it is not mandatory for members of the Guelph Police Service to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Const. Kyle Grant said in an email.

“However, our Senior Leadership Team is continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and this could change. But again, at the moment it’s not mandatory for our members.”

*With files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues and Matt Carty

 

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