Political Action

SDPOA Political Endorsement Policy and Procedures

Citizens and Public Safety Proponents for Truth PAC



To ensure that our members’ safety, livability, and working conditions are protected, the San Diego Police Officers Association shall participate in the electoral process in a proactive manner through political endorsements. These endorsements are also intended to enhance the viability of the San Diego Police Officers Association and the San Diego Police Department, as a whole, through cooperative working relationships with various organizations, individuals, and legislators. Endorsements made by the San Diego Police Officers Association are on behalf of the organization and are strictly recommendations to the membership which in no manner infringe on its members’ rights to democratic choice.

General Policy

All qualifying candidates and the organizing committees for the appropriate ballot measures and referendums shall be eligible to seek the San Diego Police Officers Association (SDPOA) endorsement subject to the following guidelines, recognizing the multi-partisan makeup of the SDPOA.

Offices considered for SDPOA endorsement will include, but not be limited to:

  • Federal: Senate, Congress
  • Statewide: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Treasury, initiatives and referendums
  • State Legislative: State Senators, State Representatives
  • Local/Regional: Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, Sheriff, County District Attorney, County Supervisors, County Treasurer, propositions

Endorsement Decision Making

The SDPOA Board of Directors, hereinto referred as Directors, will make all final endorsement decisions upon majority vote of the Directors based on recommendations approved by the SDPOA PAC, political consultant and, whenever possible, any other outside consultant(s) and members.

Endorsement actions by the SDPOA can include:

  • An endorsement of one candidate;
  • No endorsement; or
  • A listing of candidates who support the SDPOA’s “targeted” issues. “Targeted” issues are those issues of particular importance to the SDPOA and its membership and, subject to final review, might include such things as salary, benefits and other labor and law enforcement issues.

Criteria for Endorsement

Candidates may be invited to a screening interview with the Directors and/or PAC and political consultant(s) and/or members to judge the qualifications of each candidate and the effect an endorsement would have on the SDPOA.

The following criteria (in some cases, only those portions of the criteria that are applicable) should be used in determining whether a candidate will receive an SDPOA endorsement:

  • Ride along with an SDPOA member if approved by the Chief of Police or his/her designee
  • Complete questionnaire provided by SDPOA
  • Character and personal integrity
  • Incumbency
  • Voting records if an incumbent
  • Leadership position
  • Committee assignments
  • Past active support and assistance in committee and/or on the floor
  • Bill sponsorship
  • General interest in and commitment to public safety, officer safety, criminal justice and public employee issues
  • Prior experience in public office and community affairs
  • Work experience
  • Position on current SDPOA issues
  • Party affiliation — while SDPOA should be bipartisan there are situations when party affiliation is appropriate to consider
  • Opinions of other public safety groups – “Hometown rule”
  • Ability to conduct a viable campaign

The President and/or political consultant(s) of the SDPOA will be responsible for contacting the candidate who earns the SDPOA endorsement. The President will notify the board via email that the candidate was notified of the SDPOA endorsement. A discussion of the endorsement should also take place so that the candidate and the SDPOA are in agreement as to the scope of the endorsement, and that the integrity of the SDPOA and its endorsement procedures will be maintained. Endorsement may include a written statement on SDPOA letterhead which may be reprinted and published by the candidate or political committee. The text of that statement should be prepared and approved by the SDPOA President and/or SDPOA political consultant(s).

Procedures for Ballot Measures

When considering requests for SDPOA endorsement regarding ballot measures, initiatives, referendums and recall measures, a similar mechanism to that used for candidates will be put into action.

Revised and approved per Board of Directors: 1/14/2010

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