(The Center Square) – Dozens of state troopers are turning in their resignations over the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, one police organization in Massachusetts said.
The State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) said in a statement that troopers are resigning, or retiring, and some “plan to return to other departments offering reasonable alternatives such as mask wearing and regular testing” on the job.
On Sept. 17, the organization filed a lawsuit in order to get Gov. Charlie Baker to add options, such as masking and weekly testing, against the vaccine, CBS Boston reported. A judge ruled in favor of the state mandate.
The station reported that state police and associated employees must be fully vaccinated under the mandate by Oct. 17 or risk losing their jobs.
The police union sought to allow troopers to wear masks and be tested weekly. Nearly 20% of troopers have submitted their resignation papers, SPAM said in the release.
“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,” SPAM said in the statement.
The organization said it was “disappointed in the judge’s ruling” but respects the decision.
“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 alternative,” SPAM said in the release.