Only 5% of Washington state police personnel don’t comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Washington state police wearing masks, standing behind a chain-link fence.
A trio of Washington State Patrol talk as they stand watch outside the Washington State Capitol in anticipation of potential armed protests in Olympia, U.S. January 17, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
  • October 18 was the deadline for Washington state employees to be fully vaccinated.
  • Only 127 members of the Washington State Patrol refused.
  • The agency employees roughly 2,200 people.

Nearly 95% of the people employed by the Washington state police force have complied with the mandate to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the agency announced Monday.

The Washington State Patrol employs about 2,200 people, all of whom were required to provide proof of vaccination by October 18. Of that force, just 127 people failed to comply, according to a news release from the agency: 53 civil servants, 67 state troopers, six sergeants, and one captain.

“COVID is a killer and the state is taking action intended to improve public safety,” Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste told staff Monday. He thanked the vast majority of employees who elected to comply with the public health order. “Better days are ahead,” he promised.

As The Seattle Times reported, the state police agency made rapid strides in the weeks ahead of the vaccine requirement coming into effect. As of September 20, only 63% of its personnel had submitted proof of their vaccination status. That rose to 93% at the start of October – and another 2% in the weeks since.

Under Gov. Jay Inslee’s order, employees who have not provided evidence they are fully vaccinated by October 18 but intend to do so will now be placed on unpaid leave.

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