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Washington State Police says 127 employees ‘separated from employment’ after vaccine mandate deadline

By Fox 12 Staff

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    SEATTLE, Washington (KPTV) — Washington State Patrol announced Tuesday that 127 of its employees have lost their job after the state’s COVID-19 vaccinate mandate deadline.

The deadline for Washington state employees to provide proof of vaccination or receive approved exemption was Monday.

As of the end-of-business on Monday, WSP said 53 civilians and 74 commissioned officers (67 troopers, six sergeants and one captain) were let go after not meeting the mandate.

“We will miss every one of them,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “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. You will forever have our respect for your courage and your commitment in all you have done on behalf of the agency.”

WSP has about 2,200 personnel in eight districts and multiple geographic detachments and operational divisions. WSP says it plans to gauge the impacts of the staffing losses over the next several days, but plans to immediately move resources where necessary.

“As for the more than 2,000 individuals who elected to stay with our agency, I am forever thankful. We have the responsibilities of the agency to carry forward and I am not going to ask you to do more with less. We shall do our very best to keep our remaining staff from becoming overburdened by these temporary losses,” said Chief Batiste. “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.”

State employees across Oregon and Washington had until Monday to be vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.

Monday was also the deadline for Washington school employees to become vaccinated or receive approved exemption.

In southwest Washington, the Vancouver, Evergreen, Camas, and Battleground school districts all reported a vaccination rate of 99% or 100%.

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