‘COVID-19 is a killer:’ 94-95% of workers complied with mandate, says WSP

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Officials with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) have released their current numbers of employees lost due to the government’s vaccine mandate, a news release said.

Out of 2,200 workers across the state, 127 did not comply with either getting vaccinated for COVID-19 or receiving a medical or religious exemption. This accounts for between 4-5% of the overall workforce.

Those who lost their jobs included 67 troopers, six sergeants, one captain, and 53 civilians.

READ: Washington State Patrol loses 127 employees to vaccine mandate

Chris Loftis, the director of communications for WSP, called Tuesday “a sad day.”

“Anytime you lose that number of folks in one moment it has an impact,” Loftis said. “These aren’t just people, numbers, and positions. These are our friends and coworkers and our colleagues and in some cases for many years, even decades.”

Loftis said the patrol was afraid they would lose more employees than they actually did.

“We had hoped we wouldn’t lose anybody,” Loftis said. “They’re good people. Nobody left because of disciplinary problems or anything of that nature. They left because they had the conviction that the vaccine mandate in there was for them, wrong.”

This map shown below splits up the state into eight different geological regions. The Tri-Cities is part of District 3, colored in red. Our area lost five employees while other places like District 1 in Pierce and Thurston counties lost 11.

Map

Image courtesy of Washington State Patrol

“We’re an agency of size. We have over 2200 employees spread out over the state. We’re very well organized and mobilized in a way that is designed to meet emerging situations and changing dynamics,” Loftis said.

The agency is already working on recruitment systems to replace the employees who left.

“We thank them. They leave with our appreciation, they leave with our respect, they leave with our well-wishes for success and safety in the future,” Loftis said. “The public can be assured that there are 2,000 folks that get up every morning and decide to give their life and service and their time and their careers to keeping people safe.”

Loftis added that there “is no doubt COVID is a killer.”

“There are thousands in the state of Washington that have lost their lives, there are hundreds of thousands across the country and millions around the world and the scientists tell us the more and sooner people are vaccinated the sooner COVID will be behind us all,” Loftis said.

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