West Australian Police Allegedly Scrub Emails Asking Staff Opinion on Vax Mandates

West Australian Police Allegedly Scrub Emails Asking Staff Opinion on Vax Mandates
A Western Australia police officer wearing protective gear in Perth, Australia on Aug. 20, 2021. (TREVOR COLLENS/AFP via Getty Images)
Daniel Khmelev
3/8/2022
Updated:
3/8/2022

Internal emails sent to all Western Australia (WA) police employees asking for their thoughts on COVID-19 vaccination mandates in the workplace have allegedly been quickly wiped from all staff inboxes without explanation.

WA was the first state to implement widespread vaccination mandates—dubbed the “broadest proof of vaccination requirements in the nation”—and has since mandated the jab for all workers in health, law enforcement, mining, construction, hospitality, entertainment, fitness, courtrooms, government, and other industries.

Pro Choice Cops WA, a group of current and former police staff who are against the vaccine mandates, received a total of 386 usable responses after sending thousands of emails on Feb. 27.

The group alleges the emails were promptly scrubbed from all staff inboxes within 10 hours before they could get further submissions. There have also been claims that some staff were threatened with disciplinary action if they replied to the survey.

According to the final report by Pro Choice Cops WA, the results revealed that more than two-thirds of all respondents did not currently support the vaccination mandate.

Of concern to the authors of the report was that, while 47 percent said they had wanted to get the vaccine, 7 percent were still undecided, and 46 percent said they never wanted to get vaccinated in the first place.

And of those who were either unsure or did not want to receive the vaccine, 69 percent said bullying and coercion had a very high impact on their decision to get vaccinated—which included the possibility of missing out on training courses and receiving promotions.

A majority of respondents ended up saying workplace morale was low, that they were dissatisfied with their job, their union, and the commissioner of police, and that they disagreed with how police were being utilised to enforce public health directions.

The Epoch Times reached out to WA Police for comment on the allegations and the survey’s preliminary findings but did not receive a reply in time for publication.

Calls for an Official Survey

Jordan McDonald, a former police officer who left the police force over the COVID-19 vaccine mandates, said an official survey was needed as the existing results painted a worrying picture of low morale and unease towards the jab-or-no-job policy.

“The results of this survey are compelling and concerning,” McDonald told The Epoch Times.

“Not only does it detail that many are against the vaccine mandates and support the return of their unvaccinated colleagues to the workforce, but it also raises concerns regarding mental health impacts from mandates, internal and external bullying impacting vaccine decision making and a loss of confidence in the Commissioner of Police.”

A 2019 photo of former WA Police Officer Jordan McDonald (right) at a remote community in the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. (Jordan McDonald)
A 2019 photo of former WA Police Officer Jordan McDonald (right) at a remote community in the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. (Jordan McDonald)

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson was appointed as the state’s “vaccine commander” to increase the number of vaccinated West Australians and held the role for five months until it was transferred to Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Dreibergs.

McDonald called upon the relevant bodies to conduct their own police staff survey.

“The only desire I and many others have is for either the agency or union (or both) to commission their own survey to better understand the general consensus of the workforce regarding mandates and police involvement in enforcing public health directions,” he said.

“I did not want to do what I did, nor should I have had to have done what I did. But I felt I had no other option but to fill the void.”

A legal battle as a result of the mandates had been launched by unvaccinated police officers against the state, the chief health officer, and the commissioner of police—and has recently expanded to six new industries.
It also comes shortly after South Australia’s own police commissioner scrapped vaccination requirements altogether.

Revealing Testimonials

However, the study’s written responses painted a picture of mixed attitudes towards the mandates.

Some of these pointed to concerns over the risk posed by unvaccinated staff towards vaccinated staff.

“Pull your head in; it’s not about one individual. I would not work with an unvaccinated employee, potentially putting my health and the health of my family at risk,” one response stated.

“In my opinion, your choice/decision not to be vaccinated is selfish and not in line with the roles and responsibilities of a police officer. I suggest you compare the number of fatalities from COVID-19 before and after the vaccines were developed,” said another answer.

Other comments pointed to the fact that, while they were for getting vaccinated, they disagreed with imposing it as a condition to stay on the job.

“For clarity, my position is pro-vaccine but anti-mandate. I believe the CoP (Commissioner of Police) is a fantastic commissioner and should continue as our CoP. But I don’t think the vaccine should have been mandated,” one person said.

“I am concerned that the responses to COVID-19 are impacting on people’s personal choices and livelihoods ... If everyone around an unvaccinated person is vaccinated, then who is at risk? Only the person who has not got vaccinated,” another respondent said.

Protestors rally against vaccination mandates during the World Wide Rally for Freedom event in Perth, Australia, on Nov. 20, 2021. (The Epoch Times)
Protestors rally against vaccination mandates during the World Wide Rally for Freedom event in Perth, Australia, on Nov. 20, 2021. (The Epoch Times)

Meanwhile, several respondents mentioned they were in search of another job and were looking to resign as a consequence of the treatment of staff and low morale.

Other testimonials revealed concerning conditions under which some had been required to take the vaccination.

“My anxiety over being forced into the vaccine in such early stages of my pregnancy caused my anxiety to skyrocket following what should have been an exciting time for myself and husband,” one person said.

“I ended up being admitted to hospital with heart issues due to my anxiety. My resting heart rate was hitting 160bpm, and I was having horrible chest pain ... I was discharged without any physical illness and was told my heart issues were due to the anxiety work was causing me at the time.”

“Now I look back, I am grateful I had my vaccine and can see the benefits in pregnancy, however being forced into it so forcefully and quickly it caused me an extreme amount of anxiety at the time and ruined those first weeks of finding out I was pregnant.”

Daniel Khmelev is an Australian reporter based in Perth covering energy, tech, and politics.
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