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St. Louis County officers ordered to get COVID vaccine shots

The police department is primarily governed by its chief and the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners
Credit: AP
A policeman receives his J&J COVID-19 vaccine in Soweto, South Africa, Monday July 5 2021. Police joined the rollout of vaccines as South Africa's resurgence of COVID-19 is setting record numbers of new daily cases, centered in Johannesburg and driven by the delta variant that was first found in India. (AP Photo/Alet Pretorius)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The acting head of St. Louis County police has issued an order saying that all officers must follow a county mandate to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing.

The order was issued even though an officer has filed a lawsuit challenging whether the county's mandate should apply to the police department, which is primarily governed by its chief and the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners.

Officer Jared Lindeman's request for a temporary restraining order argued that the County Council and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page don't have the authority alone to place requirements on officers.

RELATED: Vaccine mandate for St. Louis County employees may not apply to police officers

A planned Friday hearing on Lindeman's request was cancelled after acting St. Louis County police Chief Kenneth Gregory issued his order. Lindeman's attorney, Christopher Graville, said he is weighing how to proceed with Lindeman's lawsuit after the order.

Lindeman, who has been with the force since 2008, contracted COVID-19 in October 2020 and recovered from it but has not been vaccinated, according to court documents.

The county police union, the St. Louis County Police Association, opposes extending the vaccine requirement to police.