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San Diego County’s Largest Police Union Endorses Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer For Supervisor

The San Diego Police Department reportedly said it lost more than 500 officers since July 2020 and had struggled to find new recruits.

San Diego County’s largest police association on Thursday endorsed former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer in his bid for a seat on the Board of Supervisors as local law enforcement continues to face staffing shortages. 

Faulconer, vying for the county’s District 3 seat covering areas from Carlsbad to Coronado, announced the San Diego Police Officers Association endorsed him after making public safety one of his top priorities.

“I’m proud to receive the endorsement of the largest police union in San Diego County, the 

@SDPOA!” Faulconer wrote on social media. “I’m always proud of the work our men and women in blue do day in and day out to keep all families safe regardless of zip code.” 

During his tenure as mayor from 2014 until 2020, Faulconer’s campaign said he approved the most sweeping recruitment and retention program in the city’s history. Such efforts from the city’s top officials supported the San Diego Police Department to reach a 10-year high in staffing levels.

“You can count on me to continue giving our officers the tools and resources necessary to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe,” he added.

Last year, the San Diego Police Department reportedly said it lost more than 500 officers since July 2020 and had struggled to find new recruits after approximately 130 officers left over the controversial COVID-19 vaccine mandate. San Diego has since repealed the requirement for city workers that had led to multiple lawsuits. 

Jared Wilson, president of the San Diego Police Officers Association, cited at the time that low morale due to sub-average salaries and a perceived lack of support from city officials had also contributed to the shrinking police force, according to local media. 

But Wilson said in a press release Faulconer has been a “stalwart supporter” of local authorities and stood up to “radical groups” in the wake of the so-called Defund the Police movement following George Floyd’s death in May 2020. 

“When other cities around the state looked to defund the police, Kevin stood up to these radical groups and instead gave us the tools necessary to help us be successful in protecting everyday San Diegans,” Wilson said. “That’s the kind of leader we all need at the county level – that’s why we’re strongly backing him to be our next Supervisor.”

Faulconer entered the race last year to challenge incumbent Terra Lawson-Remer, who he says is “friendly” to groups that support reducing police funding.

“Just last year, she held a fundraiser with a Hollywood celebrity that supports the idea of taking away police funding and that’s wrong,” he said in a press release. “When I was Mayor, we funded the police at record levels because it was the right thing to do. Even as protestors around my house demanded that I defund the police, I didn’t cave in. I stood up to these extreme activists and gave our police the tools and resources necessary for them to keep us the safest big city in the country. As Supervisor, I will continue to support our men and women who put their lives on the line so that we can rest easy at night.”  

Faulconer has also garnered support from a number of other local donors and organizations, including the San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association, The San Diego Farm Bureau, and the San Diego Restaurant Association.

The San Deigo County Board of Supervisors race for the 2024 election only has two candidates per district who will face off in the November General Election.

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