DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver police officer, a police detective and a sheriff’s deputy have been fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Denver Department of Public Safety fired the three employees in October after they failed to show proof of COVID vaccination or get an approved religious exemption, according to their termination notices.
Denver termination notices isused over COVID vaccine mandate
A Denver police officer used a religious exemption application to reject the vaccine mandate outright, including that it offers a religious exemption at all. Anyone who receives an approved religious exemption must agree to further COVID measures, including testing and masking.
“I will not agree to be poked and prodded on a weekly basis with COVID tests,” the officer wrote in the application, according to the termination letter. “I will not agree to wear a mask or stay six feet away from my peers. I will not segregate myself based off a medical decision that is my choice and have to justify to you my belief in God as my exemption. You will not use my religion as a basis to subjugate me to restrictions that are unnecessary and unwarranted. Nor will I give you my permission to corral me into subservient living as the ‘unvaccinated.'”
The officer would go on to question the human resources department in emails, claiming they have “no authority” to determine what constitutes legitimate religious beliefs and demanding their qualifications for doing so.
The officer later appeared at a disciplinary hearing with a lawyer, who requested that hearing officers give the officer’s religious exemption application another chance based on new information submitted with the request.
Still, the department did not find that the officer had “a sincerely held religious belief … held prior to facing potential termination at your contemplation of discipline meeting.
“Finally, your statements make clear that you will not comply with any of the restrictions that accompany an approved exemption, namely testing, masking and social distancing,” they wrote in the officer’s discipline letter.
A Denver Police detective with a clean disciplinary record and four commendations also lost their job, according to their termination notice. The detective did not give a statement at their disciplinary hearing but said they had no intention of getting the vaccine.
A Denver Sheriff Department deputy at the Downtown Detention Center also was fired after a hearing, but information on what was discussed was not detailed in their termination letter.
Some get vaccinated last minute
As of mid-October, 27 of Denver’s sworn first responders had quit over the employee vaccine mandate. At the time, another 34 people were facing discipline for not complying, including in the city’s fire, public safety and 911 departments.
FOX31 has learned that some of those employees decided to get vaccinated at the last minute and requested the numbers.
Who does the Denver employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate apply to?
The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment issued a public health order on Aug. 2 that required all city employees to be vaccinated against COVID by Sept. 30.
According to the order, the mandate includes “all persons in the employ of the City and County of Denver, including:
- on-call employees
- interns (paid or unpaid)
- appointed officers
- board members and commissioners
- elected officials
- at-will appointees of elected officials and the Department of Aviation
- hearing officers appointed by the Career Service Board,
- and employees of the Independent Monitor’s Office, City Council, Library Commission, the Denver Public Library and the Civil Service Commission.”