90% of San Diego Police Officers oppose vaccine mandates
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Roughly nine out of 10 members of the San Diego Police Officers Association who responded to a recent survey oppose COVID-19 vaccination mandates, and about 45% of them say they would rather be fired than comply with such requirements, the head of the SDPOA confirmed Friday.
Of the 733 officers who took part in the poll — about 38% of all the personnel represented by the union — some 65% said they would consider resigning from their jobs if the city follows through with a plan to require coronavirus inoculation beginning in November.
The fact that the questionnaire drew hundreds more respondents than usual for one of the union’s surveys indicates the topic is one of intense interest to the city’s law enforcement corps, SDPOA President Jack Schaeffer noted.
“So it’s obviously something that’s on their minds and that they have strong opinions about,” he explained.
Schaeffer described the findings as “concerning for someone in my position,” since the SDPD has struggled frequently in recent decades to recruit enough officers and satisfactorily reduce employee attrition.
In negotiations with the city, the police union has taken a stand against mandatory COVID vaccinations. The SDPOA’s leaders “want options,” such as regular coronavirus testing, in lieu of obligatory inoculation, Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer spoke in depth with KUSI’s Matt Prichard, but did not mention that he is in the process of being recalled as president by members of the San Diego Police Officers Association for not standing up for their views.
KUSI has been told Schaeffer is likely to be replaced in a special election vote on September 20th, 2021.
Schaeffer’s complete interview with KUSI’s Matt Prichard is below:
A spokesman for the San Diego Police Department declined to comment on the results of the survey, which were released to the union’s membership at large on Wednesday.
Last month, SDPD officials disclosed that they were conducting an internal investigation into a social media posting in which an officer with the agency spoke of a growing “coalition of cops who will stand up for our God- given freedoms and are willing to risk it all” by refusing any orders to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to wear protective masks.
“From this point forward we will never take the vaccine, be tested or wear another face diaper around our heads without our free will to make that choice,” the officer stated on an SDPOA forum.
The author of the post called the issue “the hill to die on, because I promise you if ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ lose this fight there won’t be another hill to fight on.”
The lawman, who identified himself as a 16-year member of the SDPD, opined that like-minded members of the department “have to be willing to get fired from this job to secure (their) rights and stand by (their) convictions.”
“Our coalition is growing by the day and if the department and city are willing to fire 100-500 cops then so be it,” wrote the officer, whose name has not been publicly released by the SDPD.
The post ended with an acronym, WWG1WGA, which is generally understood as standing for “Where We Go One, We Go All.”
KUSI’s Matt Prichard was live in Kearny Mesa with more details on the survey’s findings.