A Massachusetts state troopers union leader says dozens of troopers are resigning over GOP Gov. Charlie Baker's Aug. 19 executive order requiring proof of vaccination for state employees by Oct. 17.
"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 wrote in a statement Monday.
"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."
Cherven's statement comes after a judge ruled against his union's request to delay the vaccine mandate deadline.
"We are disappointed in the judge's ruling; however, we respect her decision," Cherven's statement began. "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."
Cherven added his union that represents 1,800 members wants a COVID-19 illness to be treated "as a line of duty injury."
"Throughout COVID, we have been on the front lines protecting the citizens of Massachusetts and beyond," his statement continued. "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."
SPAM's attorney noted about 20% of Massachusetts State Police employees are unvaccinated, CBS-4 Boston reported.
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