BOSTON (CBS) – The State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) said dozens of troopers have submitted their resignation papers as a result of the state’s COVID vaccine mandate.
The state is requiring all executive department employees to show proof of vaccination by October 17, or risk losing their jobs.READ MORE: Trump calls FBI search of Mar-a-Lago estate 'prosecutorial misconduct'
About 20% of State Police employees are not vaccinated, the union’s attorney said.
Last week, a judge denied a request from the State Police union to put a hold on Baker’s vaccine mandate for troopers.READ MORE: Olivia Newton-John, known for her role in 'Grease' and hit song 'Physical,' dies at 73
The union released a statement following the judge’s decision.
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.MORE NEWS: Father and son sentenced to life in prison for federal hate crimes in Ahmaud Arbery's killing
The union, which represents 1,800 members, argued that the state needed to bargain with workers before implementing the mandate.