Raleigh police officers, firefighters must be vaccinated to be eligible for promotion

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Moving up the ranks at the Raleigh police and fire departments will soon require more than experience.

Starting Jan. 1, 2022, police officers and firefighters will have to be fully vaccinated to be eligible for promotion.

This new requirement also applies to all other City of Raleigh employees and will take effect Friday.

City leaders recently came up with the new requirement.

CBS 17 requested an interview with Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin and Police Chief Estella Patterson, but neither were available.

This comes about a month after the City gave employees the option to get fully vaccinated by Sept. 17, or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

According to the City of Raleigh’s website, that policy will remain in place until Wake County’s COVID positivity rate drops below 5 percent and the virus no longer has substantial community spread.

But this new promotion requirement does not have an end date yet and pressures employees who want to move up and make more money in their department to get the vaccine.

Employees can request religious or medical exemptions, which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Police and firefighters who are unvaccinated can still apply for promotion through Dec. 31, but according to an internal memo an RPD commander sent to police:

“During this promotional process, candidates need to be mindful that their interaction with others on-duty and off-duty and non-work-related travel may result in a possible COVID-19 exposure which may impact a candidate (s) in this promotional process.”

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