COVID vaccine: Milwaukee, police organization agree to require

The city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Supervisors’ Organization (MPSO) have signed an agreement that requires union members to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, the city announced Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Members of the MPSO who are not vaccinated by Nov. 30 will be required to wear a mask at all times while on duty except when eating or drinking at a safe social distance.

"The city and the MPSO are interested in taking reasonable steps to protect individuals, their families and the community from COVID-19," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. "I appreciate the thoughtfulness the MPSO has brought to our discussions on this matter."

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"All members of the MPSO always have the protection and safety of our community first on their minds," MPSO President Carmelo Patti said. "We truly appreciate the leadership of Mayor Barrett and his willingness to work with us on this issue to find a path that achieves those goals."

The voluntary agreement includes provisions for administration of the vaccination to members while they are on duty. If previously vaccinated, members can receive two hours of administrative leave. The vaccine is mandatory regardless of previous infection status.

Members who are found to be in violation of the agreement will face discipline that includes suspensions and, for repeated violations, possible discharge. That is similar to the consequences general city employees face for violation of vaccination requirements.

The memorandum of understanding, signed this week, will be in place until the end of 2022 unless there is mutual agreement to extend it or end it sooner.

The MPSO represents sworn Milwaukee police employees with the rank of sergeant, ID supervisor, lieutenant, captain, or deputy inspector.

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