With vaccine mandates going into effect across the United States, many people who refuse to get the vaccine are losing their jobs. It is affecting many front-line workers, including law enforcement.
In Seattle,127 Washington State Patrol employees were let go in response to Governor Jay Inslee's COVID vaccine mandate. However, in the couple of hours the mandate took effect, some Seattle police officers were seen flying Gadsden flags from their patrol vehicles.
According to KING, all of Seattle's healthcare workers and state employees needed to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 to stay employed. Fully vaccinated meant they would need to get their single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson or their second shot from Moderna or Pfizer by Oct. 4.
The Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) said the officers who did not submit their proof of vaccination on Monday would be allowed to disclose why they did not comply in a hearing before being fired.
One Washington State Patrol Trooper posted a video with a message intended just for the governor and a thank you to his community. WSP Trooper Robert LaMay signed off for the last time in his 22-year career.
“This is my final signoff. After 22 years of serving the citizens of the state of Washington, I’m being asked to leave… I’d like to thank the citizens of Yakima County as well as my fellow officers within the valley. Without you guys I wouldn’t have been very successful and you’ve kept me safe and you got me home to my family every night. Thank you for that. This is the last time you'll hear me in a state patrol car. Jay Inslee can kiss my -ss”Robert LaMay
Sergeant Richard Thompson also did his final sign-off after 17 years. He was based out of Cowlitz County, and his wife, a Clark County dispatcher, also is being fired after 15 years of service.
According to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's office, 186 officers still need to submit their proof, and 98 more were attempting to secure exemptions, leaving 782 who have submitted all their documentation.
Due to the staggering drop in numbers, the department went to "Stage 3" operations, which means anyone who is trained can be sent to any call, including education and training employees. A huge hit for a city that has already lost 300 employees due to policy over the last year.