A nearly 30-year police veteran in California resigned over San Jose’s vaccine mandate on account of the police stress continues combating power understaffing. 

“First of all, it’s my religious belief. I also believe I’ve been given a choice about what to do with my body,” Sgt. David Gutierrez mentioned after he resigned from the San Jose Police Department this weekend, KPIX reported

Gutierrez spent 23 years with the San Jose Police Department working as a murder detective, inside affairs investigator and patrol supervisor, ahead of retiring in 2019. He then returned to the stress as a reserve officer. 

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Gutierrez labored his closing shift on the department on Saturday, and mentioned he despatched a letter to metropolis supervisor on Monday denouncing metropolis’s vaccine mandate, which requires metropolis workers to level proof of vaccination or get a medical exemption. Those who don’t comply face disciplinary motion, paying homage to termination.

“Disciplinary action is when you have done something wrong,” Gutierrez mentioned, in accordance with NBC Bay Area. “I have done nothing wrong – by making a choice not to be vaccinated why would you be disciplined?”

Gutierrez added that he is not anti-vaccine and could possibly be open to metropolis testing him on a weekly foundation in its place of implementing the vaccine or getting a medical exemption. 

“I’m not anti-vaccine. I don’t tell people, ‘You shouldn’t get it.’ But when it comes to my body, it’s my choice about what I want to put in my body,” Gutierrez mentioned.

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He despatched his resignation letter forward of metropolis’s Sept. 30 deadline for workers to get the vaccine, and mentioned additional officers may also stroll off the job amid the department already dealing with understaffing elements. 

“We are already understaffed and can’t afford to lose more,” Gutierrez mentioned.

“If they let go police officers who’ve been here five years, 10 years, 15 years, you can hire somebody else, but you’re not going to hire that experience though,” he added.

A recent audit analyzing the last word 10 years of the police department discovered the stress has intently relied on additional time on account of it struggles with understaffing. 

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About 200 officers in the department must date requested for exemptions, quite a few which could be for religious capabilities. But the Democratic mayor, Sam Liccardo, says the vaccine mandate is primary working and doesn’t anticipate an exodus from the stress. 

“This is certainly for the protection of the individual members of our city team. But it’s also, critically, for the safety of our entire community because we know, obviously, first responders are out there interacting [with the public] every day,” Liccardo mentioned, in accordance with KPIX.