San Diego may lose police officers over vaccine mandate

(Alma Cesena/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

When President Joe Biden announced his sweeping vaccination mandates, public employees were one of the primary target groups. That includes law enforcement officers, though they are state and municipal employees rather than federal ones because Biden encouraged municipal governments to invoke the mandates as well. To put it mildly, that hasn’t been going over very well with the cops in a number of locations. We can now count San Diego, California in that group because they heeded Biden’s call and announced their own vaccine mandate. The local police union conducted a survey of its members last week and opposition to the mandate was found to be widespread. In fact, a majority of them indicated that they would rather be fired or quit rather than accept the mandate. This situation is coming to a head in many states and cities and the outcome could turn out to be a major debacle for both the White House (in political terms) and locales that might find themselves with even fewer law enforcement officers to protect them amid rising violent crime rates. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

About 45 percent said they would rather be fired than comply with a mandate, according to the survey, which was conducted in the past week by the San Diego Police Officers Association.

According to the union, 733 members — about 38 percent of the officers the association represents — responded to the survey. Less than 1 percent of the officers who took the survey said they had no stance on vaccine mandates; 8 percent said they were undecided as to whether they would quit if the city required vaccines and 23 percent said they were undecided about whether they would rather be fired than comply with a mandate.

The results, which were shared with union members late Wednesday in an email obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune, came as the police union — under pressure from some members — was pushing back against the city’s decision to require its employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 2.

This isn’t just happening in San Diego. The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), with more than 30,000 members across the United States similarly rejected vaccine mandates for its members.

The results of the survey in San Diego seem particularly stark, particularly when you consider that the city is predominantly a liberal Democratic bastion. But when you add up all of the various choices made by respondents, nearly 90% are opposed to the mandate, though lower percentages are unsure if that should result in their being fired or forced to quit if they refuse to comply. Perhaps at least somewhat surprisingly, even a fair portion of the cops who have already been vaccinated oppose the mandate, saying it should be a matter of personal choice. Others see it as a needless order since vaccination rates are already approaching herd immunity levels without the need of Big Brother putting its thumb on the scales.

Keep in mind the fact that these police unions are among the group of labor unions who were not given a seat at the table when Joe Biden was considering this order. Reliably Democrat-supporting unions like the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) were exempted from the mandates when their leadership objected. The police unions were offered no such option, likely because they don’t uniformly support and donate to Democrats.

So what happens if even half of the San Diego law enforcement officers who are objecting make good on their position and either quit or are fired? We already witnessed an entire municipal police force walking off the job in Missouri, though that was only a handful of officers in a small town. Just try to imagine something on par with that happening in San Diego. Their endemic homelessness crisis and increasing property and violent crime numbers would look like small potatoes if the number of police officers serving the public was suddenly cut in half. Somebody needs to rethink the wisdom of these vaccine mandates and they need to do so quickly.

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