Calgary police say announcement on vaccination policy expected ‘in the coming days’
Calgary’s police chief said he expects a decision on whether or not the service will implement a vaccination policy “in the coming days.”
Mark Neufeld made the comments during a meeting of the Calgary Police Commission on Tuesday.
He said the Calgary Police Service was in the process of doing some “final detail work” and then expects to coordinate an announcement with the city.
A recent internal survey of CPS employees shows 85 per cent are either vaccinated or planning to get fully vaccinated.
The survey included both civilian and sworn-in employees of the CPS.
Police said 81 per cent of employees responded to the survey.
The City of Calgary announced at the start of September that all employees must be fully vaccinated or provide a reason for exception by Oct. 18.
CPS, though funded by taxpayer dollars, operates independently and doesn't have a vaccination policy in place for its employees.
"We continue to work with the City of Calgary and our unions and associations to develop a COVID-19 vaccination policy that makes the most sense for our service,” Neufeld said.
“As a signatory on our collective agreements here at the service, the City of Calgary is an important partner. As you can imagine, as a large public sector employer, there are a number of important considerations that have been raised by employees and unions, and the city themselves, in terms of their operations and of course context-specific considerations for our service.”
Neufeld said it was important to note that the survey closed prior to the introduction of the province’s Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) and the subsequent decision by Calgary councillors to make the REP mandatory for all eligible local businesses.
"Anecdotally, although we're unable to quantify any changes since then, I think we saw in the general population an increase in vaccination uptake because of the very practical impacts on people's lives in many areas, so it could well be higher than that,” Neufeld said.
"What I can say at this point I think though with full confidence is that the majority of our members of our service are fully vaccinated. I think that's important for Calgarians, to be confident that any policy that we do put in place with respect to this will certainly ensure that they're safe when dealing with members of the Calgary Police Service."
Currently, the CPS said there are two active COVID-19 cases amongst staff and two employees who are symptomatic and awaiting test results
In total, CPS said it has had 191 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.