Washington State Patrol said Tuesday that 127 staff members were fired for failing to comply with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline.
“We will miss every one of them,” WSP Chief John R. Batiste said in a statement, according to 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.”
127 State Patrol employees losing their jobs over the vaccine mandate.
74 commissioned/53 civilian
(67 troopers, 6 sergeants and 1 captain)
— John Hopperstad (@JohnHopperstad) October 19, 2021
The firings included approximately five percent of the state’s police force.
“As for more than 2,000 individuals who elected to stay with our agency, I am forever thankful,” Batiste said.
“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.”
The governor’s vaccine mandate may have sought to provide safety, but the impact now impacts safety in another way, as the state will lack the resource to patrol the state and provide protection to the people of Washington during times of need.