MPD sick calls surge to 300+

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - More than 300 MPD officers have called in sick since June 30 according to Police Director Toney Armstrong.

That's a big jump from the 181 who had called in as of Saturday, and it's more than 10% of the force.

In a rare Sunday news conference, Armstrong appeared with Mayor A C Wharton and CEO George Little.

City officials are calling this a 'Blue Flu.'

Officers are believed to be calling in sick to protest next year's budget that increases health coverage cost and eliminates a subsidy for retirees, instead of increasing property taxes, to pay for the unfunded pension.
The changes affect all city employees, but police and fire have been the most vocal.

"We have a responsibility to provide public safety," said Armstrong. "It has been challenging to fill all of our staffing levels, but at this point, no citizens are at risk."

Armstrong said contingency plans are in place, and those who called in sick could face discipline even termination.

He said he has approved overtime, forced Organized Crime Unit and TACT unit officers to hit the streets and asked Shelby County Sheriff's Office for help.

Sheriff Bill Oldham sent deputies to help patrol Beale Street over the holiday weekend.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office will continue to help the Memphis Police Department as needed, and said it will not affect the county's safety, because it's called in volunteer, reserve deputies.

Shelby County Sheriff's Office states that "Public safety is of the utmost importance to all, and we will continue to support the Memphis Police Department to ensure that it is not compromised."

"I feel like they are letting us down," said Anner Sanders who lives in Frayser with her four kids.

She said in her neighborhood, crime is a problem.

"We need the police force, because there are too many dangers," said Sanders.

While she's hoping police and the city settle their differences before things get worse, sources told WREG the Blue Flu is gaining momentum.

Sunday, WREG is told only two officers showed up to work the day shift at the Mt. Moriah Precinct. We're told officers are upset and hurt. They feel they are being forced to pay for the city's financial woes.

"If there are alternatives, lets put them on the table," said Wharton.

Wharton said the council's personnel committee will have a meeting Tuesday to hear alternatives to pay off the pension, even though the city voted against revisiting the budget at last week's meeting.

Despite rumors, the Memphis Fire Department reports it has not seen any spikes in firefighters calling out sick.


      • Phyllis

        Thank you for the job you are trying to do whilst the people in the suits sit on their arses and draw a wage for nothing but lip service. Pay no attention to the fools who have nothing to do other than collecting their welfare check, and food stamps while you are working. Ignorance is bliss they say, and it shows on here. Take care, don’t quit until you find a better place to go.

    • mbba9633

      Joseph obviously didn’t get accepted for hire on mpd and is upset. I wonder if Joseph even pays taxes at all.

  • Tarl Cabot

    i was a member of the national guard, when the fire and police department went on strike. if my memory serves me correctly. IF THIS IS CALLED A STRIKE, those officers lose their jobs there seniority/PENSION . NO AMNESTY. that is part of the city charter, NOT A MAYORAL NEGOTIATING TOOL

    • Phyllis

      You are right Tarl, they are never supposed to strike again, but I do not blame them for doing what they are doing. There is not one person in this city who would have their pension taken away and not do anything. Why do you think Toney ARmstrong did what he did, he has issued a retirement order for himself that insures him for a big pension in two years or maybe less, bet they don’t touch his pension, I guarantee they do not touch his pension and nor will they take AC Wharton’s pension either. All you MPD officers, check on what Toney is getting, see if he will be impacted by this cut from your pension, healthcare and the like. They need an attorney to get this CLASS ACTION STARTED, to turn this city inside out and to find out why it is only affecting their monies and not that of the Mayor, Chief, and other big wigs in the city of Memphis, TN.

    • mr.concerned citizen

      What pension? Their security is quickly being eroded. Why aren’t you a police officer? Probably because you are a worthless keyboard warrior like the rest of these dumb hicks in Memphis. I want the police to strike. They deserve to. Let the purg begin.

    • mbba9633

      Incorrect Tarl. The no strike clause in the contract was only if the city never cut benefits or pay. Since they have done both a strike is exactly whats needed. This mayor is constantly throwing money away into auto zone park 43 million, Raleigh springs mall several million and giving large companies tax breaks while taking from employees. Did I mention bass pro? How is this ok? If the city is truly in a dire situation i’d be willing to help. But to spend money like an idiot is a slap in the face. These are your tax dollars hes wasting on ridiculous endeavors. What sane business man spends on ventures that won’t bring in a return? Either he’s a fool or he’s stealing money.

      • mbba9633

        66 million has been approved for Raleigh springs mall. Are you kidding me? Who did the mayor give bids to? I’d be checking into this if I were a taxpayer. That’s 109 million including auto zone park. But the city is broke?

    • Phyllis

      The same place that the government put our forty six years of payment into Medicare and SS, the place that Steve Cohen said could not be touched by them, but of course!! So now they are using our monies to support the Illegals and the people that have never worked a day in their lazy arses.

  • Lucile Davis

    Memphis property taxes are already too expensive. I think it’s about time to start cutting some of the high ranking managers or their bonuses. I would rather move out of Memphis to Mississippi as well as, many other people. Memphis wastes too much money on uncertain projects like Bass Pro, FedEx Forum, and The Red Birds etc…..

    • Phyllis

      And that fiasco down on the water, that was built for the elite that live downtown. I know I am not going down there with the riff raff that are there. The city of Memphis is so good and tearing down historic buildings and the like, then erecting places like the pyramid that sat empty for years. There are to many cooks in charge and not one of them knows what they are doing.

      • Phyllis

        Barbara, just look what happened when they built the Pyramid! Now they are going to rebuild Raleigh Springs, for what reason? So people that live out there can tear it down again, when I worked out there it was pretty, then you got the people coming in buying clothes to wear to some function that night, and bringing them back the next day. They set a rack of clothes on fire in Dillard’s just to divert attention from them stealing a whole bunch more stuff. Had people wandering around the mall just looking for something, or somebody to mess with. If they think a police precinct out there will stop the crime, they have another think coming. They took our precinct out of midtown because nothing matters in midtown to them, all they care about is the Beale street crud, and the rich that live on the river. Thank you AC!

  • Barbara Gilmer

    I see people in the store everyday with Food Spamp cards that dont spek English. How does this happen, I thought you had to be out of work to collext. As far as the Police Flu Fire them all like the Air Traffic Controllers

      • Phyllis

        Yep, we hicks in Memphis cannot read pigeon English. Although I was not born here, I know I can spell, never been on food stamps, welfare, Medicaid etc. I suggest we support our police department, fire department, they are working their arses off so Ms.Barbara can get her welfare and Medicaid, God forbid they take that away from her. Spelling and grammar must have gone down the toilet in her case.

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