MPD restores days off, vacations

MPD Police Patch Memphis police

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department has restore days off and vacations for officers.

As of Friday afternoon, the number of officers out sick had decreased to 413. Earlier in the week, more than 500 officers had called out.

Administrators say officers were calling in sick to protest the changes to their health care benefits. They had to ask the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office for help patrolling streets.

Police Director Toney Armstrong said Monday MPD’s policy allows them to require a doctor’s note.

What happens if an officer doesn’t have a note? Armstrong said they’ll look at each case individually to see if officers violated policy, specifically related to the number of occurrences of calling out sick. If they violate policy, they can be suspended or fired.

He explained one continuous period is one occurrence. After three days, the occurrence is considered a long-term absence. Policy says up to six months can count as a single occurrence if the officer has the days, like when suffering from a major illness, and Armstrong can approve six more months.

Throughout the ‘Blue Flu,’ city leaders have maintained public safety was not compromised.