“The devolving situation in Chicago and the very real threat to public safety in the city has been entirely manufactured and unnecessarily escalated by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Now she is searching for a way out of this mess and insists that ‘contingency plans’ are in place,” the statement issued on Wednesday said. “The truth is her recent call for help through the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS), a system designed to help agencies respond to emergency situations that may overwhelm responding agencies, has been met with considerable skepticism and rejection by at least two nearby agencies. This emergency system is for emergencies and is not intended for instances where a mayor or agency suspends or fires a large number of their own police force.”
A coordinator from the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) sent an email to a dozen police officials across the state requesting they ask members of their specialized units whether they could respond to dangerous situations in Chicago, and how fast they could get there, Chicago’s WGN-TV reported.
“To be clear, if members of the ILEAS Special Teams programs are requested, it would be for emergency situations, NOT for routine police assistance and the answering of calls for service within the city limits. Illinois State Police and Cook County Sheriff’s Office would be tasked with the patrol needs,” the email read.
While the Cook County Sheriff’s department already works with Chicago police in helping certain neighborhoods with high crime, other suburban departments told WGN-TV they weren’t ready to answer the call.
“I will not send my personnel to Chicago unless an officer is under direct duress because I cannot support this slanted agenda,” said Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain. “I also will not allow my deputies to be subjected to use of force in the City and be under the prosecutorial jurisdiction of the Cook County State’s Attorney.”
The request comes after the administration of Mayor Lori Lightfoot required that city workers report their COVID-19 vaccination status or be placed on unpaid leave, setting a deadline for this past Friday.
As of Monday, just under 65% of Chicago Police Department personnel reported their vaccination status through the city’s online portal, according to FOX 32 Chicago.
“The city of Chicago is served by some of the finest men and women in uniform. They are dedicated and committed to keeping the citizens of Chicago safe,” the statement from the police union added. “Instead of working cooperatively with police personnel or engaging with the labor union, Mayor Lightfoot mandated that all officers must receive one of the available vaccines for COVID-19 or face potential termination. She has left no room for compromise, and her ultimatum could force a significant number of officers off the streets.”
The National FOP explained that some law enforcement officers are “reluctant to get vaccinated for reasons that are entirely their own” and that “we do not and cannot support forcing our members to undergo a medical procedure against their will without any regard for their rights as public employees or providing them with even the most basic due process.”
The statement then called out Lightfoot by name again saying, “Mayor Lightfoot seems to think that her game of brinksmanship is an acceptable risk to the citizens of the city. She was counting on other agencies and ILEAS to respond to incidents in the city in the event that the Chicago Police Department could not. In fact, as far as we know, her call for help is not restricted to officers who have been vaccinated—setting up a potentially ridiculous situation in which she has suspended unvaccinated Chicago police officers only to replace them with unvaccinated officers from other jurisdictions. Clearly, her position has nothing to do with the public’s safety or health policy and everything to do with ‘winning’ the political game against the union.”
The National FOP closed the statement by saying that “Mayor Lightfoot should not use the safety of Chicago citizens as a pawn in her political game” and called on her to engage with officers while also respecting their rights.
Lightfoot’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.
Crime has continued to plague the nation’s third largest city highlighted by 39 shootings last weekend alone.
Chicago has seen some 1,400 carjacking victims in Chicago and elsewhere in Cook County so far this year, which include many people who’ve been shot in the face or elsewhere by offenders looking to oust them from their vehicles, the Chicago Sun Times reported. Through the end of September, there were 43.5% more carjacking incidents across Cook County compared to the same time last year.
Fox News’ David Aaro and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report