VOL. 7 | NO. 28 | Saturday, July 5, 2014
Armstrong Tallies 181 Cops Out Sick for Fourth
By Bill Dries
Memphis police brass count 181 police officers who have called in sick during the Fourth of July holiday week, according to a Saturday, July 5, statement from Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.
The high sick count comes as leaders of the Memphis Police Association have been talking of a possible “blue flu” reaction to health insurance benefit cuts for all city employees and retirees approved by the Memphis City Council last month and pension benefits the council is considering changing.
The police union leadership hasn’t endorsed the sick-out. But MPA president Michael Williams has said such a reaction is understandable given the hardship the benefits cuts pose for public safety employees.
Armstrong’s Saturday statement said his department is being assisted by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in the Beale Street Entertainment District during the holiday weekend. The police department has relied on such assistance in the past.
And Armstrong said the high number of absences in the ranks of department that numbers approximately 2,200 have not jeopardized public safety.