Dozens of Massachusetts state troopers have resigned over recent weeks due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a police union representative said in a statement Friday.
“To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignation paperwork, some of whom plan to return to other departments offering reasonable alternatives such as mask wearing and regular testing,” State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) President Michael Cherven said in a statement.
State Police Assoc. of Massachusetts (SPAM) Statement on Judge’s Ruling and Governor Baker’s Vaccine Mandate (…)
— MassStateTroopers (@StPoliceAssocMa) September 24, 2021
“The State Police are already critically short staffed and acknowledged this by the unprecedented moves which took troopers from specialty units that investigate homicides, terrorism, computer crimes, arsons, gangs, narcotics, and human trafficking, and returned them to uniformed patrol.”
Chevron said troopers spent the pandemic “on the front lines protecting” citizens and simply want “the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders.”
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order in August mandating all employees be vaccinated by Oct. 17.
SPAM sued for an injunction to block the implementation of the order until the union could bargain with the state for other accommodations such as weekly testing and mask wearing. A federal judge, however, denied the request Thursday, according to NBC 10 Boston.
Judge Jackie Cowin said SPAM did not show the mandate would cause irreparable harm, according to the report. (RELATED: ‘We Will Be Replacing People’: NY Gov. Says Healthcare Workers Who Won’t Take The Vaccine Will Get The Boot)
“Suspending the deadline for union members to obtain full vaccination would be against the public interest which the defendants are charged with protecting, and cause more harm to the Commonwealth than is caused to the union by denial of such relief,” Cowin reportedly wrote.
Despite Cowin’s decision, state police told NBC 10 Boston no retirements occurred Friday because of the decision.