San Jose Police Union Pushes Back Against City's Possible Vaccine Mandate Changes

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The Bay Area's largest city could be on a collision course with its own police department over the issue of mandatory vaccinations.

The City of San Jose currently requires all employees to vaccinate or be tested weekly for COVID-19.

San Jose police officer's union said the city's current plan, known as “phase one,” which is either vaccinate or get tested regularly is acceptable.

"We want to keep this in place. The way it is right now,” said Sean Pritchard, president of the San Jose Police Officer's Association.

But San Jose city officials are now considering a plan that would mandate vaccinations for all city employees by September 30.

"They have notified all the employees that they're looking at a phase two, which would include mandatory vaccinations without the option of the weekly testing," said Vicki Day with the City of San Jose.

The new phase means that for those who don't vaccinate, they would be put on unpaid leave.

San Jose police are reporting about more than 100 officers are currently not vaccinated. Pritchard told NBC Bay Area Wednesday that trouble could lie ahead.

"If the city moves to take them off the streets, terminate their employment, we're barely holding on as a department right now. That would decimate this police department and really, the impacts to public safety would be catastrophic,” he said.

Both sides are possibly growing farther apart.

San Jose city officials said they have not yet made a definite decision as to the phase two plan and they will be in touch with local unions when it does.

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