Police have recently been under fire for a litany of accusations: ones on police brutality, domestic abuse, racial prejudice and more. Now, police are facing a completely different crisis: the question of vaccination. 

Although our brothers in blue are notorious for many things, this newest trend is particularly concerning. CNN reports that the leading cause of death amongst police officers in the past year has been the coronavirus, a disease proven five times more deadly than gun violence amongst the demographic. 

However, President Biden has mandated that all police officers are required to either receive the vaccine or hand in their badges, and many have chosen the latter. 

I can honestly say that this trend is unsurprising. Police unions are notorious for enforcing a certain culture around their occupation, and it rarely benefits the general public. 

Police unions, unfortunately, tend to follow the suggestions of their favorite politicians, and sometimes this habit can cause real harm. 

I, like most people, am sick and tired of hearing about the big C. I also understand that vaccination is a hot topic for political debate. However, the thing that really gets me is that the majority of police handing in their badges are citing reasons that are more specific to politics: reasons like freedom. 

Here in America, we have conditional freedom, and it’s why we have to wear a seatbelt when we’re in a car. We have collectively agreed to follow certain rules for the greater good, and the question of vaccination is no different from seatbelts. 

The problem is that freedom has nothing to do with why the vaccine was invented in the first place. The vaccine is about keeping people safe. 

I got vaccinated to protect people. I sacrificed a sore arm so that I could potentially save someone’s life. Even if having a sore arm for a day or two was inconvenient, knowing that my sore arm could protect someone from contracting a deadly disease was enough to make it worth it. 

Sounds familiar, right? It’s the same reason that we are required to be jurors: civic duty. 

We should be doing what is best for everyone even though it may be the opposite of what we want to do. 

Police, of all people, should understand that. They are the enforcers of rules that we have all agreed to, like seatbelts. They sometimes put themselves in dangerous situations so that they keep everyone else safe. 

Quite literally, civic duty and sacrifice are the reason that police exist. This is why I am so disturbed by the trend of unvaccinated police. The very people who are sworn to protect and serve us are letting us down. To protect and serve doesn’t just mean pulling someone over for a speeding ticket. Sometimes, it means giving up a little so that you can give your community a lot.

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