The union representing Denver police officers on Thursday said that it’s trusting officers to make their “own choices on how to maintain their health” after Mayor Michael Hancock this week announced a public health order requiring all city employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The brief statement from Denver Police Protective Association doesn’t mention vaccines, but alludes to the “Mayor’s current health order.” The full statement:
“As to the Mayor’s current health order, the Denver Police Protective Association respects and trusts our members with their own choices on how to maintain their health, the health of their families, and the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Denver in a profession that exposes them on a daily basis to violent criminals, as well as multiple contagious and infectious diseases prevalent in our community. Health and safety has been and always will be a core value and personal commitment to every officer serving the community. Our members can be trusted with their personal decisions.”
The city government will verify the vaccination status of its employees, including first-responders, said Mike Strott, a spokesperson for the Hancock administration. While the city does not yet have a comprehensive verification system set up, Strott said that the vaccination cards provided by medical professionals after both shots would be acceptable forms of proof.
It’s not clear how many Denver police officers are vaccinated. Department of Public Safety spokesperson Kelli Christensen said in an email the department has not been tracking vaccination figures for police, fire and sheriffs because up until his week, vaccinations were not required for them. Christensen said the department won’t have accurate numbers until staff submit proof of vaccination by September 30.
We’ve reached out to the Denver Police Protective Association for further comment.
Denverite reporter Dave Sachs contributed to this report.