About nine in ten members of the San Diego Police Officers Association who responded to a recent survey oppose COVID-19 vaccination mandates, the SDPOA chief said on Friday.
In addition, about 45% of them say they would rather be fired from the San Diego Police Department rather than comply with such requirements. About two-thirds of those polled said they would consider quitting their jobs if the city implements a plan to require coronavirus vaccines from November.
These figures, however, are based on responses from just 733 agents, or about 38% of all staff represented by the union.
The questionnaire, however, drew hundreds more respondents than usual for one of the union’s surveys. This indicates that the subject is of intense interest to the city’s law enforcement agencies, noted SDPOA chairman Jack Schaeffer.
“So this is obviously something they are concerned about and about which they have strong opinions,” he told City News Service.
Schaeffer described the results as “about someone in my position” because the SDPD has long struggled to recruit enough officers and significantly reduce employee attrition.
During negotiations with the city, the police union took a stand against mandatory COVID vaccinations. SDPOA leaders “want options,” such as regular coronavirus testing, instead of mandatory inoculation, Schaeffer said.
A spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department declined to comment on the results of the investigation, which were released to union members in general on Wednesday.
Last month, SDPD officials revealed they were conducting an internal investigation into a rambling and often cryptic social media post interspersed with Biblical and QAnon references in which an officer spoke of a growing resistance movement among his colleagues.
He described a “coalition of cops who will stand up for our God-given freedoms and are willing to risk anything” by refusing any orders to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or wear protective masks.
“From now on, we won’t take the vaccine, have any tests, or wear a face layer around our head without our free will to make that choice,” the officer said on an SDPOA forum.
The author of the article called the problem “the hill to die on, because I promise you that if” WE THE PEOPLE “lose this fight, there will be no other hill to fight on.”
The lawyer, who has identified himself as a member of the SDPD for 16 years, said like-minded members of the department “must be prepared to be fired from this work to guarantee (their) rights and defend (their ) beliefs. “
“Our coalition is growing day by day and if the department and the city are ready to fire 100 to 500 police officers, so be it,” the officer wrote.
His name was not made public by the SDPD.
The message ended with an acronym, WWG1WGA, which is commonly understood to mean “Where We Go One, We Go All”. The slogan is often used in communications by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
In a letter to Mayor Todd Gloria, NAACP San Diego President Francine Maxwell said she and her members were “gravely concerned” by the officer’s statements.
– City news service