This is only the beginning.
The State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) announced Friday that dozens of troopers have resigned recently due to the state’s Covid vaccine mandate.
After Republican Governor Charlie Baker mandated Covid vaccines for 42,000 state workers in an August 19 executive order, the police union decided to file a lawsuit.
The union argued the governor’s October 17 deadline would cause “irreparable harm” to officers, asking for more time to “negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment.”
However, last week a judge denied the union’s request to delay the mandate.
“Specifically, the public interest is, unquestionably, best served by stopping the spread of the virus, in order to protect people from becoming ill, ensure adequate supply of medical services, and curtail the emergence of new, deadlier variants of the virus,” Judge Jackie Cowin said in her decision.
In response to the judge’s ruling, SPAM President Michael Cherven wrote, “It is unfortunate that the Governor and his team have chosen to mandate one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country with no reasonable alternatives.”
“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.”
Republican candidate for governor Geoff Diehl joined protesters this weekend in a rally against the mandate.
“You have to vote out the governor!” Diehl shouted to the crowd. “You’ve got to vote out the lieutenant governor and you’ve go to take this into your own hands.”
With dozens of police officers already turning in their badges and only days left to get vaccinated, more resignations and firings are around the corner.
Union members will sit down with state politicians on Sept. 30 to further discuss the vaccine mandate.