Town Fires Police Officer Over Vaccine-or-Test Policy

by | Mar 11, 2022

Mark Bourget refused COVID vaccine or comply with weekly testing requirements

Town Manager Andy Nota said Friday Patrolman Mark Bourget was fired Thursday after he refused to comply with the town’s rule that all town employees must either get the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing for the virus.

Bourget had been out on paid leave since last fall, after Nota implemented the COVID vaccinate or test policy. Out of approximately 150 full-time town employees, all but 9 got vaccinated. Of those nine, eight accepted the mask-and-test accommodation – Bourget did not. He continued to receive his pay because of protections afforded police officers through the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. 

Faced with a stalemate, the town moved to have the case presented to a three-person LEOBOR panel in December. The panel, made up of law enforcement peers, found by unanimous decision that Bourget had violated the EGPD’s rules and regulations, resulting in a charge of insubordination. Then, in a 2-1 ruling, the panel ruled Bourget should be terminated immediately, which was what the town had recommended.

The decision was released Wednesday (3/9) and Bourget was fired Thursday. He joined the force in November 2020 after 21 years with the East Providence police. He is also a member of the West Warwick Town Council.

Then new hire Mark Bourget flanked by former Dep. Chief Cirella and EGPD Chief Steven Brown after he joined the force in Nov. 2020. Photo: EGPD

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9 Comments

  1. Matt

    What a senseless waste and all for nothing. Terrible decision by the town and the panel.

    Reply
    • Mark

      Or he could have have just gotten vaccinated.

      Reply
      • Matt

        For what? Why? Blind compliance?

        Reply
        • Mark

          Yes

          Reply
  2. CR

    This is absolutely disgusting that this is occurring to someone who has served our state and been on the police force for over 20 years. As the mandates drop across the country and the world because the Democrats say so, those of you who have destroyed lives because you have blindly followed “science” will find that what goes around comes around. Good luck.

    Reply
    • SE

      Thank you and I agree. Unfortunately my response was not published.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth McNamara

        SE, we did send an email explaining that your comment had been off topic and that was why it was not approved. If you would like to talk more about this, you can reach me at [email protected].

        Reply
  3. Disappointed

    Agree or disagree with the policy, an employer has the right to set a policy and an employee has a right to take their talents elsewhere if they don’t like it. That’s our system.
    What is an absurdity to me however is the idea that the protections are so over the top that the town had to pay someone for 5 or 6 months to figure this out and get no productivity in return. Imagine that, be in violation of your employers rules and get a half year paid vacation.

    Police deserve our respect. They deserve better pay and work arrangements then they often get. But in return they should be held to a higher standard of conduct.

    Check the news about a few bad apples in the eg pd over the past few years and the inability to hold them accountable in a timely fashion. We deserve better.

    This was the right outcome but nuts that it took so long and so much was spent for an officer not working (plus legal fees). That $100k+ could have done a lot of good for residents.

    Reply
  4. EG

    If his employer required it then he made his own choice.

    Reply

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