Dozens of Massachusetts troopers tendered their resignation in protest of the state’s vaccine mandate on Sept. 27.
State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) complained about GOP Gov. Charlie Baker requiring every trooper to be immunized against COVID-19.
“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,” SPAM President Michael Cherven said in a statement.
Cherven revealed dozens of troopers have already stepped down and move to other departments that offer “reasonable alternatives such as mask wearing and regular testing.” The high number of departures has created a worker shortage at SPAM, and talks have not resolved the issue.
“I tried to talk [a young trooper] out of it, I told him that I thought he should get the shot but he just does not want to do it,” he said according to The Hill. “We have to respect his rights, we are an association, we fight for everyone, and we just want a reasonable alternative.”
The governor issued an August executive order for all executive department employees to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination no later than Oct. 17. He claimed the jab is the best way to protect themselves, loved ones and the community from the virus.
A judge recently denied SPAM’s request to postpone the vaccine mandate for troopers.
“We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling,” Cherven said in the statement. “However, we respect her decision.”
The advocate believes every trooper deserves to have the same entitlements as other civil servants.
“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,” he said.
Cherven and the entire SPAM executive board is already vaccinated.