Denver sheriff’s deputies and police lag in showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination

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Data: City and County of Denver; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Denver’s public safety officials continue to buck COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The percentage of Denver Sheriff Department deputies and police officers who have shown proof of COVID-19 vaccination trails far behind the share of employees in other agencies, new city data shows.

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Why it matters: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is requiring vaccines or regular COVID tests for all city employees who don’t have medical or religious exemptions by Sept. 30. If they fail to comply, municipal workers could face suspension or termination.

Data: City and County of Denver; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

What they’re saying: "The majority of sworn staff are not at computers like a regular desk job and may still need to upload their cards," Denver Sheriff Department spokesperson Daria Serna tells Axios. "We anticipate the numbers will increase."

  • The agency did not answer Axios’ question about what it is doing to prepare for a possible wave of suspensions or firings if employees do not comply with the mandate.

Flashback: The city's top public safety leader, Murphy Robinson, said last month he'll discipline police officers and sheriff's deputies who ignore a vaccine order.

The big picture: As we previously reported, some law enforcement officers in Colorado and nationwide are resisting vaccines and ignoring mask mandates.

  • Like health care workers, teachers and members of the military, the COVID status of public safety officials could have ripple effects for the communities they aim to protect.

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