mass state police ceremony 1

Troopers attend their socially distanced graduation last year at Gillette Stadium.

FOXBORO — There were enough troopers on duty to ensure public safety for the New England Patriots game Sunday at Gillette Stadium, a spokesman for the agency said Tuesday in response to a union social media post.

“The Massachushetts State Police had the staffing levels necessary to complete our mission and ensure safety and security at the event,” spokesman David Procopio said.

The State Police Association of Massachusetts issued a tweet Sunday night after the Patriots-Jets game saying that for roll call prior to the event “we were 40 Troopers under ideal staffing.”

“The shortage of Troopers we are facing is nothing less than a public safety crisis. Even with these obstacles, our members continue to show up and serve daily,” the union tweet said.

When asked for comment by The Sun Chronicle, Procopio declined to say how many troopers work paid details for games at the stadium.

“It would be irresponsible for us to broadcast staffing details for security operations,” he said.

The state police union is in a public feud with Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration over a mandate that all executive office employees, which includes the state police, get COVID-19 vaccinations.

Troopers or other executive office employees who don’t get the vaccine and don’t have a valid exemption for medical or religious reasons face termination.

Since the governor issued the mandate, the union and the administration have differed on the number or troopers who retired over the requirement and staffing levels of the agency.

Union President Michael Cherven has referred to a state-commissioned staffing study by the UMASS Collins Center that recommends uniformed members should be staffed at no less than 2,600.

Currently, there are just under 2,000, which includes 168 new troopers who graduated from the academy last week.

The union says about 85 percent of its members are vaccinated but warns many will leave the agency if they do not receive exemptions from the mandate.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

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