Washington State Patrol loses 127 employees due to COVID vaccine mandate

OLYMPIA, Wash. (KGW) ) — Editor’s note: The above video originally aired Oct. 18.

A total of 127 Washington State Patrol (WSP) employees were let go on Monday due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. That’s out of about 2,200 total WSP personnel spread across Washington.

WSP gave the update in a news release Tuesday morning following the vaccine mandate deadline on Oct. 18. Under the mandate, state employees, school staff and health care workers were required to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive an approved medical or religious exemption, or risk losing their jobs.

Out of the 127 WSP employees who were let go, WSP said one person was a captain, 67 were troopers, six were sergeants and 53 were civil servants.

“We will miss everyone one of them,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste in the news release. “I extend 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.”

Batiste said the agency will gauge the impact of the change in employment, move resources where necessary and look to fill vacancies as soon as possible.

On Monday evening, Batiste sent a message to the approximately 2,000 WSP personnel who are staying on the job. The message said, in part, “COVID is a killer and the state is taking action intended to improve public safety. I thank you for staying on post and staying in service to this state and agency.”

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