Dozens of Massachusetts state troopers have submitted their resignations to protest Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s coronavirus vaccine mandate.
The move compromises public safety at a time when law enforcement is already short-staffed amid the anti-police protests that have roiled the nation.
Michael Cherven is the president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, a union that represents 1,800 members of the state police.
On Friday, he issued a news release expressing disappointment after a judge denied the union’s request to delay the vaccine mandate until it can negotiate for reasonable accommodations, such as a weekly testing option or mask-wearing on the job.
“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,” Cherven 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,” he wrote.
Cherven spotlighted the irony of the mandates resulting in a mass exodus of police officers given that the point of forcing people to get vaccinated is supposedly to ensure public safety. However, having cops resign en masse endangers the public.
“We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling; however, we respect her decision,” he said. “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.”
Should coronavirus vaccine mandates be enforced?
Cherven underscored that the police union simply wants the chance to negotiate alternatives to mandated vaccines for people with allergic reactions or religious objections.
“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,” he said.
In August, Baker issued an executive order requiring all 44,000 “executive department” state employees to get fully vaccinated by Oct. 17. If they don’t comply by the deadline, they could be fired.
The police union filed a lawsuit to postpone implementation of the mandate until it could engage in collective bargaining to offer a weekly testing option or other accommodation to people with allergic reactions or religious objections.
On Thursday, Superior Court Jackie Cowin rejected the union’s request, claiming the mandate would not cause irreparable harm to its members or adversely affect the public interest.
The coronavirus vaccine mandates have emerged as a curious flashpoint uniting people from disparate political persuasions against a common enemy, which is Big Government overreach.
Last week, several hundred Navy SEALs refused to comply with President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional and violates their religious freedom.
A few days later, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked New York City from implementing its vaccine requirement for public school employees.
On Thursday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary restraining order to the United Federation of Teachers, a labor union that represents the city’s 200,000 public school teachers and workers.
Teachers unions are strongly left-wing, so it has come as a surprise that some oppose the vaccine mandates.