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Baltimore Police Union Advises Officers To Not Disclose Their Vaccination Status Ahead Of City's Mandate

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Beginning Monday, all of Baltimore City's 14,000 employees will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine or face weekly testing. But Baltimore's Police Union is pushing back, telling its officers in a letter sent Friday to not disclose their vaccination status.

It is an attempt to delay the start of this mandate until they can get more clarity on the city's policy.

"Proof of vaccination will be required of Baltimore City employees effective Oct. 18, 2021," Mayor Brandon Scott announced in September.

The letter sent Friday, from Baltimore Police Union president Sergeant Mike Mancuso says the union has been trying to get clarity on the city's new vaccination policy for weeks.

"We're all asking those questions and we're all not getting answers," said Joshua Fannon, Union President of Baltimore Fire Officers Local 964.

Fannon said firefighters are just as concerned about this new policy as police are, particularly how it's going to be put into practice.

"How is weekly testing how is weekly testing going to work? It's supposed to be on duty. If you have multiple people working on a fire engine how do they all get tested while they're working cuz it sounds like it might be at different times?" Fannon asked, all questions he said have gone unanswered by the City but need to be addressed.

In the letter from the Police Union, Sergeant Mancuso writes in part: "Our attorneys will be filing a court action today, in an attempt to at least delay the implementation of this policy."

According to the Baltimore Police Department, 64 percent of their entire department has been vaccinated.

WJZ reached out to the City Fire Department who said they do not keep track of these numbers but will start doing so once the vaccination policy is in place next week.

"There's a lot that needs to be ironed out and it hasn't been yet," said Fannon.

"This is about leading by example protecting the health of our workforce, residents and their loved ones," said Mayor Scott.

WJZ received this statement from the Mayor's Office:

"Labor Commissioner Deborah Moore-Carter led a productive meeting this afternoon with the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police and their attorney, Commissioner Michael Harrison, and representatives from the City's Law Department and Human Resources to discuss concerns over the vaccination mandate. We will remain in close contact with the FOP until a solution is reached, and we are hopeful it will."

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