Washington State Patrol could lose 10 percent of its workforce over vaccine mandate

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Patrol could lose more than 10 percent of its workforce over the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

The agency confirmed they could lose more than 300 employees, including 215 troopers. That’s out of the 2,184 employees that work for WSP, according to the State Office of Financial Management. 

As of Monday, September 20, 374 employees had filed religious exemptions; 284 have been approved, but no accommodations have been found for those employees. 

Some were offered new assignments, but it would mean a pay cut for those employees, so the offers were rejected. 

Twenty two medical exemptions were approved, but those were already in place and those people have been working from home. 

WSP Spokesman Chris Loftis said staffing for troopers was already down 85 people. 

“One or many. It’s going to be a loss that’s felt,” Loftis said. 

Loftis noted that contingency plans are currently being worked on in the case of losses. The agency said there is a possibility that more employees will choose to go unvaccinated, but they will not know that information until the October 5 deadline. 

Vaccine rates have been going up as that deadline approaches. 

READ: Washington worker vaccination increases ahead of mandate deadline

READ: What you need to know about the deadline for Washington’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate

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