BOSTON, Massachusetts: Instead of being forced to become vaccinated against COVID-19, many Massachusetts state troopers have chosen to resign, union officials said.
Governor Charlie Baker gave executive department employees until 17th October to provide proof of vaccinations, a decision the State Police Association of Massachusetts attempted to block in court.
In a statement after their loss, the police association, which has 1,800 members, said, "It is unfortunate the Governor and his team have chosen to mandate one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country with no reasonable alternatives."
"To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignations, and some plan to return to other departments offering reasonable alternatives, such as mask-wearing and regular testing," it added.
The association further said, "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."
Some 80 percent of the union's members are already vaccinated, reported the Boston Globe.
Meanwhile, a State Police spokesman told the Boston Globe on Monday, "The department has been notified by our HR office of one trooper who has definitively stated he will retire because of the vaccine mandate. It is our understanding that other troopers have indicated they may possibly resign or retire for that reason."