Washington State Patrol announced Tuesday that 127 of its staff members were fired after refusing to comply with the state’s coronavirus vaccine mandate.
Fifty-three civilian and 74 commissioned officers, including 67 troopers, six sergeants, and one captain, were terminated from their posts, according to officials.
“We will miss every one of them,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste in a statement obtained by FOX 13. “I extended a hardy thanks to those who are leaving the agency. I truly wish that you were staying with us. You have my utmost appreciation for the hard and successful work that you have provided during your valued WSP careers. You will forever have our respect for your courage and your commitment in all you have done on behalf of the agency.”
“As for more than 2,000 individuals who elected to stay with our agency, I am forever thankful,” Batiste added. “We must now turn our attention to making sure we deploy our resources in a manner that continues to keep our roadways safe and meets the other core law enforcement responsibilities this agency has met with honor for over 100 years.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) vaccine mandate, which was issued in August, took effect Monday. As FOX 13 reported: the mandate applies to “most state workers, long-term care employees and teachers and staff at state’s schools, which include the state’s colleges and universities.” Yesterday was the last day for such workers who wished to remain in their jobs to be fully inoculated against the virus.
Some Seattle residents have expressed concern that the mandate could cause officer shortages and lead to a possible increase in crime.
“I feel like I’m on my own. I can’t get help from anywhere. I just open the door every day and don’t know if I’m going to go home safe and good to my family or if something is going to happen,” Maher Youssef, owner of Youssef’s Pluto Organic Café, told KING5 News. “The tourists are not going to come, the people are not going to go out of their home to buy things. It’s going to be like a ghost city.”
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