Geraldton police lead vax rates
More than 75 per cent of Geraldton police officers have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, exceeding the State average for WA Police of 69 per cent.
It comes as Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has announced mandatory mask-wearing for on-duty police officers who have not had a single jab will be introduced from Monday.
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Geraldton police officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Chris Martin said the public should not be “alarmed” if they came into contact with local police wearing masks from next week.
“COVID is going nowhere as we can see; there are some real issues emerging over east, and thankfully we’re still doing the right thing in WA,” he said.
“If you have any interactions with police who are wearing face masks, don’t be alarmed. It’s just something we’re going through together and we’re working to get as many officers vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
Sen. Sgt Martin urged the public to get vaccinated to eradicate the virus.
“The delta strain, which is rife over east at the moment, there’s an 88 per cent protection from hospitalisation once you have your jab, so it’s very effective at keeping people healthy and away from hospital,” he said.
If you have any interactions with police who are wearing face masks, don’t be alarmed. It’s just something we’re going through together and we’re working to get as many officers vaccinated as quickly as possible.
“Check out the stuff on the Health websites and let’s try and get rid of COVID as quick as possible.”
The WA Police Union criticised the mandate , releasing a statement saying it would “not accept any discrimination against our members based on their vaccination status.”
“It is our view, supported by legal opinion, the Commissioner of Police does not have the power to mandate officers are vaccinated,” acting president Mick Kelly said.
“It is also our view, supported by legal opinion, the Commissioner of Police cannot demand an officer produces a medical certificate to explain their vaccination status.
“In the absence of a legal opinion that identifies an officer’s lawful right not to follow the Commissioner of Police’s directive, we advise our members to adhere to the policy unless they have a medical exemption.”
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