Washington State Patrol Loses 127 Staff To COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
The Washington State Patrol says it’s lost 127 employees as a result of Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. That’s about six percent of the workforce. And it includes more than 70 troopers and other sworn members of the agency.
The State Patrol is the first agency to report its attrition following the vaccine mandate taking effect. Of the 127 staff who separated from the agency, 67 were state troopers, 6 were sergeants and one was a captain.
Patrol spokesperson Chris Loftis says the departures essentially double the number of trooper vacancies the agency currently has. “This is a situation of consequence and it will take time and planning and thought to come out of it.”
In the short-term that could mean moving staff to other parts of the state to backfill. Loftis also says it’s possible troopers won’t always be able to respond to minor, non-injury crashes – especially in more rural places. But overall he says the travelling public should not notice a difference.