Massachusetts losing dozens of State Police to vaccine mandate

(Meredith Nierman/WGBH-TV via AP, Pool)

Both the state of Massachusetts and the City of Boston are facing a problem that’s plaguing many areas of the country. Like many other liberal enclaves, the Bay State issued a mandate for all government employees to be vaccinated against COVID or lose their jobs. The deadline in Massachusetts is October 17th. There are still unvaccinated State Police Officers and some of them have seen the writing on the wall. CBS Boston reports that dozens of them have already submitted resignation letters or notices of early retirement in advance of the deadline and finding new recruits to put through the Academy is proving to be challenging. This issue is expected to grow even more severe as the deadline grows closer.

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…

Last week, a judge denied a request from the State Police union to put a hold on Baker’s vaccine mandate for troopers.

Just as an aside, the State Police Association of Massachusetts really needs to work on getting a new name because, as acronyms go, SPAM isn’t the best branding you could land on. Just saying…

According to a recent internal poll conducted by the Association, approximately 20% of the the State Troopers are still unvaccinated. Given that they were placed in one of the earliest eligible priority groups, it’s unlikely that many of them simply haven’t been able to get a shot. The MA State Police currently has nearly 2,200 men and women serving, including 1,500 uniformed troopers, with the rest being civilian support staff. That means that they probably have nearly 450 unvaccinated people.

Some of them may decide that refusing to be vaccinated may not be worth losing their jobs, leading them to go get a shot in the next couple of weeks. But how many? If their concerns over the vaccines were grave enough to keep them out of the line for this long, there’s a fair chance that a lot of them will follow in the footsteps of the troopers leaving this week. This is happening at a time when the State Troopers are already being called on to shore up the local and municipal police departments who are similarly experiencing higher-than-normal rates of attrition, caused either by disgust over the “defund the police” movement and a lack of support from their civilian leadership or this vaccine situation.

The State Police union filed a lawsuit in an attempt to have the vaccine mandate put on hold. Unfortunately for them, a judge denied the request last week. Prospects for an appeal do not look promising based on other, similar cases around the nation. At this point, the union seems to see the coming mandate as being unavoidable.

Doesn’t it seem like there should be some sort of compromise available to stave off this result? Other states and municipalities have issued vaccine mandates that include exceptions for people to submit weekly COVID test results. Those with a negative test are still allowed to serve. Why is that solution not being considered in Massachusetts?

It’s hard enough to find new cops these days as it is. Tempting someone into a job where protesters fill the streets and spit on you just because of the uniform you wear and gang bangers take pot shots at you while you’re on patrol isn’t exactly easy. There was a time when children dreamed of growing up and becoming a police officer. Sadly, society has taken some unhinged turns off of the rails in recent times and that dream is looking a lot less appealing to young people who might have otherwise considered a life of service to the community.