A September 27 2021 claim that “dozens” of members of Massachusetts law enforcement resigned over a vaccine mandate was reported broadly across networks, with articles by The Hill and Breitbart registering as virally popular on Trendolizer.
In “Union: Dozens of Massachusetts troopers resign over vaccine mandate,” The Hill claimed:
Dozens of state troopers in Massachusetts have resigned as a result of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, a key union said Monday [September 27 2021].
State Police Association President Michael Cherven made the announcement in a statement, adding that some troopers had intentions of moving to departments that offered “reasonable alternatives such as mask wearing and regular testing.”
Last week [ending September 25 2021], a judge ruled that the vaccine mandate would not be delayed despite a request from the State Police Association of Massachusetts.
That reporting went on to suggest that Cherven’s commentary was not specifically neutral on the matter of vaccination; he added:
“We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling; however, we respect her decision,” Cherven said in a statement responding to the ruling. “It is unfortunate that the Governor and his team have chosen to mandate one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country with no reasonable alternatives.”
Throughout COVID, we have been on the front lines protecting the citizens of Massachusetts and beyond. Simply put, all we are asking for are the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID related illness as a line of duty injury.
To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignation paperwork, some of whom plan to return to other departments offering reasonable alternatives such as mask wearing and regular testing. The State Police are already critically short staffed and acknowledged this by the unprecedented moves which took troopers from specialty units that investigate homicides, terrorism, computer crimes, arsons, gangs, narcotics, and human trafficking, and returned them to uniformed patrol.
In it, SPAM claimed that “to date, dozens of troopers” had “submitted resignation paperwork, “some of whom” intended to continue working for “other departments.” Nearly every aspect of the statement alluded to a specific position in opposition to policies mandating that troopers be vaccinated.
Notably, “dozens” was used instead of a specific number, and no figures for the number of troopers in total was disclosed; WBZ stated that the union “represents 1,800 members.” (For context, one dozen is .6 percent of 1,800, and three dozen is two percent in total.)
Across news sites, a claim that “dozens” of Massachusetts State troopers “resigned” over a vaccine mandate appeared. The statement referenced across news outlets stated that the troopers “submitted resignation paperwork,” and some planned to return to departments without vaccine policies in place. Although the statement was widely reported, it tended to be reported as if dozens of Massachusetts State Police had walked off the job, when that was not what the statement actually said.