APOA - Op Ed Daniel Stuebs

First it was “Defund the Police,” now Vaccine Mandates are the Latest Weapon in a War on Cops

It seemed that police morale couldn’t take a blow worse than last summer, when progressive activists were shouting to “defund the police” and fully attempting to disband entire departments (with Minneapolis still fighting for that dangerous idea today). The War on Cops was hitting a fever pitch, with assaults on police both on and off duty skyrocketing. Law enforcement and supporters alike assumed things couldn’t get much worse for police as they decided whether to stay on the job and put their lives on the line or walk away from a thankless and ever more dangerous profession. 

Little did we know that the hits would keep coming. The latest unjust, wholly unconstitutional, and dangerous precedent to transpire against cops is the vaccine mandate. Cities all over the country, including New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Jose, California are mandating that all law enforcement and first responders receive the coronavirus vaccine. Officers are told that they may lose their jobs if they opt against following this mandate. Which, of course, is leading officers to resign in droves. Faced with the option of losing their jobs or being forced into having their medical care decided for them. 

Heroes that have worn their badge for nearly 30 years are being forced out by this mandate. According to an article by WITN, “a veteran police officer from San Jose, California, is hanging up his badge over the requirement that all city employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Sgt. David Gutierrez has been a police officer for almost 29 years, but he decided to end his long and successful law enforcement career with the San Jose Police Department over the city’s new vaccine mandate.” Officer Gutierrez cited his religious beliefs and his right to choose what he does with his own body as reasons for not receiving the vaccine. 

And as if retention and recruitment weren’t hard enough for police departments at the moment, a survey of San Diego police showed that “roughly 90% of officers believe getting the vaccine should be an individual choice. Seven hundred thirty-three officers responded to the survey or approximately 38% of the department. More than three hundred officers said they’d rather be fired than be forced to take the vaccine.”

With the onslaught of attacks, both personal and within local, state, and federal politics, it is no surprise that police officers are leaving at an alarming rate. To be antagonized by progressive politicians and activists, listen to the public calling for the defunding of your position, watch your fellow brothers and sisters in blue be killed on duty at skyrocketing rates, and THEN be told that this is not enough and that you no longer have body autonomy and a choice in your own medical care is beyond deplorable. 

While we can’t blame them for resigning under these unimaginable working conditions, we hope officers across the country know that there are and will always be people fighting for them. Citizens, organizations, and pro-police politicians all over are stepping up in support of law enforcement and pushing back against this ongoing war on cops. We have strong hopes that the tide will turn and this nightmare for officers will come to an end. But it won’t happen unless all of us lend our voices and fight for our heroes in blue.

When the government starts mandating that people get vaccinated, it is a slippery slope to losing other personal freedoms. How far will the government go to protect people from COVID-19- including government control over personal decisions?

American Police Officers Alliance