Dozens Of Mass. State Troopers Plan To Resign Over COVID Vaccine Mandate
By Jason Hall
September 27, 2021
The State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) said dozens of state troopers plan to resign over Massachusetts' COVID vaccine mandate.
CBS Boston reports a judge denied a request from Massachusetts State Police to put a hold on Governor Charlie Baker's vaccine mandate for troopers, which will require all executive department employees to show proof of vaccination by October 17 or risk losing their jobs.
An attorney representing the union said about 20% of State Police are currently unvaccinated.
SPAM issued the following statement to CBS Boston regarding the judge's decision and the ensuing resignation plans shared by dozens of troopers:
"Throughout COVID, we have been on the front lines protecting the citizens of Massachusetts and beyond. Simply put, all we are asking for are the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID related illness as a line of duty injury.
"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. 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."
The union -- which is comprised of 1,800 members -- said state officials needed to work with troopers before implementing a statewide mandate.
Union president Sgt. Michael Cherven said troopers may be recruited to join other state's departments if the mandate doesn't include accommodations for the group.
“They have opportunities to return to the municipal departments they came from. There are opportunities outside of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey state police associations have reached out,” Cherven said.
Gov. Baker said he didn't on changing the mandate and believes compliance will be high when speaking to reporters on Monday (September 27).
“I think it’s critically important for public officials who deal directly with the public on a regular basis, who have no idea whether the people their dealing with are vaccinated or not. And those people who are dealing with them ought to believe that they are vaccinated,” Baker said.