by Photo courtesy of the San Diego Police Department

On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Officers Association announced it will file an injunction against the city on the grounds of infringing the officer’s rights with the Covid-19 mandate. 

The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 last month to approve the vaccine mandate and non-compliant city employees received termination notices last week. 

“The way out of this pandemic is through vaccines — and the city of San Diego will lead by example,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said.“With city employees regularly interacting with members of the public, this vaccination mandate takes on even more necessity — not only to protect the public but also to protect our city workers.”

The vaccine deadline for city workers was Dec.1, and exemption requests are still under review. 

The injunction against the city claims officers have been prevented from recording interviews related to their exemption requests to San Diego's Covid-19 vaccine mandate for city employees.

“Prohibiting officers from recording these interviews goes against the city's commitment to oversight and transparency while also weakening the working relationship between the police officers who serve and protect the citizens of San Diego,” the union wrote in a statement.

The union cited the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights, alleging officers have the right to record any interview that may result in discipline, including medical and religious interviews for reasonable accommodation relating to the city’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate. 

As a result of the mandate, police officers would have to leave for other municipalities that do not require vaccinations according to union representatives. 

There were 488 SDPD officers that requested a vaccine exemption as of Tuesday, a vast majority being religious. Of that number, 10 were listed as medical exemptions. 

According to union president Jack Schaeffer, the association represents more than 1,800 employees, around 500 of whom have refused to be vaccinated. Over 50 officers have left the department for other jobs. 

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