CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police are restricting time off for officers until further notice.
A memo issued Saturday said elective time off for officers will be restricted, and will require the approval of a supervisor with a rank of deputy chief of higher within the officer’s chain of command.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Monday Brings Wind, Blast Of Cold Air
A statement to be read at officer roll calls did not specify the reason for the restriction. But it comes amid a standoff between City Hall and the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police over the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
CBS 2 has not heard back from Chicago Police on whether the restriction is related to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate issues.
On Friday, a Cook County judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting union president John Catanzara from encouraging police officers to refuse to comply with the city’s policy.
The ruling came as Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the FOP escalated their dispute by taking each other to court.
Friday morning, the city filed a complaint against the FOP and Catanzara, for supporting a “work stoppage or strike regarding the vaccine mandate.” Both state law and the FOP contract with the city prohibit officers from going on strike.
Hours later, the FOP filed its own lawsuit against the city, Lightfoot, and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, accusing them of failing to properly negotiate with the union over the vaccine mandate.
At a hearing late Friday afternoon, city attorneys assured a Cook County judge officers who showed up to work over the weekend would be able to work and would be paid, but said they could be written up for disciplinary action if they did not comply with the requirement to report their vaccination status by the Friday night deadline.
After lengthy arguments, the judge granted the city’s request for a temporary injunction barring Catanzara from making any public comments that encourage members of the FOP to defy the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate until the next hearing on the city’s lawsuit on Oct. 25.
Shortly after the ruling, Catanzara posted a video online, nearly testing the judge’s line, telling FOP members “I won’t be able to speak anymore about the policy,” and urging them to “do what’s in their hearts and minds.”READ MORE: Multiple Juveniles Arrested During Large Gathering, Fights Near Millennium Park
At the end of his video, he held up a campaign sign saying ““John Catanzara For Mayor 2023” as he proclaimed “enough is enough.”
Lightfoot didn’t mince words when speaking out about the city’s decision to take the FOP to court, calling out Catanzara and his past, while holding her ground on the city’s vaccination mandate.
The mayor said Catanzara is going to ruin the careers of officers who choose to follow his lead.
The stare-down between the mayor and the FOP is fueling concerns that Chicagoans’ safety might be put at risk.
As of 11:59 p.m. Friday, all city employees – including CPD officers – were required to enter their vaccination status into an online portal. If unvaccinated, they must agree to get a COVID twice a week through Dec. 31, the deadline for all city workers to be fully vaccinated.
Any city employees who did not provide their vaccination status by the Friday night deadline could be placed on “no pay” status.
Lightfoot has said she was not concerned officers won’t show up for work, but adds there is a back-up plan she’s keeping under wraps.
“We fully expect that members will show up, and unless they’re told to go home, they need to report for duty. Now, if they don’t show up, that’s a whole different issue,” she said on Thursday.
Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter said officers are expected to comply with the deadline, and if they don’t, they could be subject to disciplinary action, including possible “separation.”
Lightfoot said any officers who are scheduled to work over the weekend must show up for their shifts, and must comply with the vaccine reporting deadline, or will be moved to “no pay” status. However, she said that won’t happen right away, as the city will need more time to contact people who haven’t reported their vaccination status and confirm they aren’t complying with the rules.
Meantime, it was revealed in court on Friday that Catanzara has been vaccinated, but he refuses to officially inform the city of his vaccination status.MORE NEWS: Murray throws for 2 TDs, runs for 2 as Cardinals beat Bears
On Saturday evening, the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement in support of the Chicago FOP’s stance on mandatory vaccinations.
“The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge stands one hundred percent behind our brothers and sisters in Chicago FOP Lodge 7 who are fighting for their rights regarding mandatory vaccinations that are guaranteed not just by their labor contract, but also by the U.S. Constitution. It is difficult to imagine how the Mayor of Chicago thinks a collective bargaining agreement can be unilaterally tossed aside when she doesn’t get her way, or that she has the right to silence those who speak out against her. We will stay united with Lodge 7 members as they bargain over this issue in good faith, and we urge the city to do the right thing and follow the legally binding contract they have with police officers.”