One police officer veteran in California’s San Jose is resigning from the force after the city tried to force him to get a vaccine that he does not want to get. He is likely the first of many officers and first responders that will suffer the same fate in the upcoming weeks.
Sergeant Gutierrez has been on the San Jose police force for over 23 years. He retired back in 2019, but returned to serve as an officer in reserve. He says that his number one problem with the vaccine is that it goes against his religious beliefs, but he also doesn’t believe that anyone has the right to tell him what to do with his body.
Gutierrez said he would probably have stayed on if he could have just tested for the virus each week, but that wasn’t on option. Gutierrez sent a letter on Monday to the manager of the city telling him about his concerns over the mandate for the vaccine that requires that employees prove they or vaccinated or have some sort of medical exemption. If you aren’t able to show proof of vaccination or an exemption, you are subject to termination or disciplinary action.
Gutierrez says he doesn’t understand why he would be subject to any disciplinary action, as it is usually saved for people who do something wrong, and Gutierrez doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong by choosing not the take the vaccine.
The new policy comes as a direct results of Biden’s federal mandates. San Jose requires that employees be vaccinated fully by September 30th.
The city released a statement in support of vaccines last month, saying that they are the most effective tool we have in preventing serious illness from COVID-19, as well as death.
Gutierrez says he isn’t anti-vaccine, but he believes it’s his choice to decide what he wants to put inside his body.
The police officer’s association in San Jose says there are about 150 officers that are unvaccinated or have refused to reveal their status. Losing even a small fraction of these officers would be a monumental blow to the police force, which is already understaffed chronically. This is a problem around the entire nation, and it will be interesting to see what transpires in the weeks to come.
Author: Tilly Williamson