City Council- Providence Mayor Battle Over Friday Mandate

The Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says a City Council Emergency meeting set for tomorrow night to try to stop anticipated police firings for failure to get vaccinated against the coronavirus- is nothing more than "a stunt".

Friday is the deadline for city workers to become vaccinated against the virus or risk termination.

By the latest numbers there are about 450 officers currently on staff at the police department. 80 of them are not vaccinated yet.

Police officials have not said one way or the other how many of the 80 will get vaccinated prior to the deadline.

The Providence Mayor issuing a statement last night ---that in part reads:

"As the Council President is aware - but choosing to ignore - every policy implemented by the City sets a process in motion. The vaccination requirement is no different. Just as when RIDOH required vaccinations for firefighters, we are working hand-in-hand with public safety officials to make medical experts available and set up vaccine clinics. Ultimately, 100% of Providence firefighters are now vaccinated, and only five firefighters chose to not receive their vaccine. We know this process can work. We are willing to work with those whose vaccine hesitation comes from a desire to know more, or have been unable to access a vaccine thus far, and we will continue to do so.

Regardless of the Council President's misinformed stunt today, all city staff are still required to submit proof of vaccination by close of business on Friday. The City's Human Resources Department will review all data submitted by staff next week. While we are willing to help educate employees who need additional information, every Providence employee will be required to get vaccinated. Our policy stands in place as we know it is in the best interest of our employees, their families and the residents we serve that everyone who is eligible gets vaccinated. "

The council vote would not necessarily stop any potential firings from happening. If the council passes the measure it would go to the mayor for his consideration, and an almost certain veto.

(Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

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