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

Hamilton police arrested a local pastor in connection with a child pornography investigation on Wed. Nov. 17, 2021. Global News

Hamilton police will now follow suit with Toronto police in implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy effective in October.

In a statement, the service says the decision was made around concerns in the fourth wave and a spike month over month in coronavirus cases in Hamilton.

“As a service, we believe mandatory vaccinations are just one of the ways we can reassure our members and the public that we have taken the necessary steps to protect ourselves and the community we serve,“ Chief Frank Bergen said in a release.

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

Hamilton police say they have been adhering to public health guidelines amid the pandemic with social distancing, handwashing, mask wearing and other personal protective equipment requirements.

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“Mandatory vaccinations will add another level of protection in the fight against COVID-19,” said Bergen.

“We took a robust approach in advocating to get our members vaccinated as soon as possible, now we need to be leaders in making those vaccines mandatory.”

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Hamilton Police Association (HPA) president Jaimi Bannon says the union supports the action from the chief and the service.

“The HPA supports the statement that all police personnel who are eligible and able to be vaccinated should be vaccinated to protect the health and safety of each individual member, your colleagues as well as your families and community,” Bannon said in a released statement.

“If a member is unable to be vaccinated there are alternative options and accommodations that we will assist our members to navigate.”

Read more: Police seize, dismantle hazardous cannabis oil lab in Hamilton’s industrial sector

Staffers will be required to provide proof of vaccination status by Sept. 15, according to the HPA president.

Members not vaccinated by Oct. 4 and do not have an exemption, will be expected to complete rapid tests before entering the workplace.

Should a member be unable to be vaccinated due to a protected ground, the service will accommodate the member in keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Bergen told Global News that 88 per cent of the services members took part in the first phase of vaccinations in late 2020/early 2021.

 

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Click to play video: 'Toronto Police Service mandates COVID-19 vaccination for all members' Toronto Police Service mandates COVID-19 vaccination for all members
Toronto Police Service mandates COVID-19 vaccination for all members – Aug 25, 2021

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