With Police Officer Objections, Leesburg Council Holds Off on Vaccine Mandate Vote

The Leesburg Town Council has pumped the brakes on a vote to mandate vaccines for its more than 500 full- and part-time employees, along with town contractors and appointed members of its boards and commissions. 

At the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting, when a vote on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate discussed at Monday’s work session and supported by a majority of the council was planned, Councilman Neil Steinberg put forward a motion to table the measure until the council’s Oct. 12 meeting. Mayor Kelly Burk indicated that Town Manager Kaj Dentler had been given some information late Tuesday afternoon that he needed to look into, without elaborating. Dentler could not be immediately reached for comment.

During the petitioners section of the meeting, several members of the Leesburg Police Department said the a vaccine mandate world cause police officers to leave the town.

“This decision has the potential to decimate the Leesburg Police Department. The town could lose a lot of amazing police officers,” said Josh Carter, a member of the police department and also a town resident. “If you decide to move forward with mandating this vaccine the loss of officers is on you. I’m going to come back to you [after the officers leave] to ask how you’re going to keep my family safe with little to no officers patrolling the streets or schools.”

Fellow Leesburg Police employee William Butterfield said the vaccine mandate will cause the police department to have an even harder time attracting and retaining good officers, at a time when police departments nationwide are having difficulties hiring employees. He noted what the town would be losing if he left town employ, and pointed to all the money Leesburg has invested in him as a member of the police department’s bike team and SWAT team, in addition to other certifications. 

“I think we’re all big boys, grown adults, that can make decisions for ourselves,” he said.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

13 thoughts on “With Police Officer Objections, Leesburg Council Holds Off on Vaccine Mandate Vote

  • 2021-09-29 at 11:36 am
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    I’m afraid I have to side with the police officers on this one. If they feel that strongly about the issue, why go against their wishes? I’d hate to think of the turmoil if Leesburg lost a significant portion of its police force. I want a safe & thriving Leesburg, even if it means postponing the Covid mandate. Kudos to Mayor Burk. I think she acted prudently in supporting the postponement. Good luck Leesburg! (Just give it a bit more time.)

  • 2021-09-29 at 7:34 pm
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    I want my freedom to be out and about without fear that government officials, which have special rights to stop and detain me for an investigation, won’t use that opportunity to infect me with a deadly disease. Police need to either get the vaccine, be subjected to weekly tests, or find another job. Seems pretty generous solution to the alternative: allow them to kill citizens by spreading covid because they are afraid of a tiny little needle prick. Why do police’s feelings about the vaccine overrule my rights to life and liberty?

  • 2021-09-29 at 9:19 pm
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    The objections to vaccine mandates has a hollow, highly partisan, political echo. Where were your objections to mandates for children to have Hepatitis, TDAP, Measles-mumps-rubella or polio vaccines prior to entering school? Are those diseases somehow more lethal than Covid-19; cases filling ERs and ICUs across the country that put people with other medical emergencies at risk? What are you watching when those news reports fill the evening news, or don’t you watch THOSE news shows? Where would we be if you objected to the smallpox vaccine? How are the police so much more at risk than employees of major companies like United Airlines and Disney who have implemented – and enforced – vaccine mandates. It looks like your news sources avoid telling you that your vaccination is safe and helps prevent the spread of Covid and lessens the chances of new, more deadly variants – benefits for those around you.
    The whining over mandates has a deep selfish tone about YOUR rights and nothing about the health rights of your neighbors. This has gone too far. Roll up your sleeve, get vaccinated and help our your neighbors!

    • 2021-09-30 at 4:26 pm
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      Does anyone know what the possible long term effects of the Covid shot are?

      But, there is plenty of data on the long term effects of many required vaccines, such as T-DAP, MMR, etc.,

      Some people want more data before taking the Covid shot.

      If you have had the shot then you should not be afraid of a person who has not had the shot.

  • 2021-09-30 at 7:39 am
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    Where is the public outcry to protect its citizens? No, to vaccine mandates. Absolutely wrong. They have proven to not work and citizens are still catching COVID after being vaccinated. Just like the shingle vaccines. Did you still get shingles after your shot? Does it only last 5 years and they push for 50 and older to get it? Was it the vaccine or your immunity that prevented you from getting shingles? Was harm does the vaccines do to your liver and in elderly is already congested.

  • 2021-09-30 at 8:41 am
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    For people that are tasked with serving and PROTECTING the public, they sure don’t seem interested in actually protecting the public or even themselves. Let them go. These are not the kinds of people we want. Are they willing to go out without their body armor and guns? If not, then why are they willing to go out without protection for their immune systems? Seems like more of the same people in the GOP death cult.

  • 2021-09-30 at 10:46 am
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    Wow, the Covidian cultists are really in full song on this one, aren’t they.

    • 2021-09-30 at 2:45 pm
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      Town council members ranting incognito. Next time you folks need a cop, call the NIH and ask for kook in glasses.

  • 2021-09-30 at 1:29 pm
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    at the very least hope they get daily covid tests

  • 2021-09-30 at 2:14 pm
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    No vaccine has been perfect, but society does better when we get them. In the words of the Terminator “Screw your Freedom”.

  • 2021-09-30 at 3:33 pm
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    One or two officers don’t speak for the entire agency just remember that. Also, I’m just wondering if Officers Butterfield and Carter really know what the essence of public service is especially as it relates to law enforcement…protect and serve.

  • 2021-09-30 at 4:21 pm
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    If you want the shot, get the shot. If you don’t want the shot, don’t get the shot.

    No person who has had the Shot should be afraid of person who has not had the shot.

  • 2021-10-05 at 12:52 pm
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    I say let ’em quit. If they have so little regard for the people they are sworn to protect and serve as to use their paid, at-will position as a political grandstand at the expense of the public’s health, then good riddance. They are demonstrating their inability to perform critical thinking and to understand the needs of society before self, so what business do they have wielding a gun and a badge in our community? This is a great opportunity for the town council to weed out a bunch of culturally inappropriate cops of the sort that let rioters into the Capitol or stand by and cheer while peaceful protestors are assaulted. Best to get rid of them now before they make some sort of critical, on-the-job mistake of judgement. Let this be their last mistake at Leesburg’s expense. (News flash: NO ONE’S JOB IS IRREPLACEABLE! Buh-bye!)

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