Blue Flu not spreading, yet

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The feared Blue Flu is not spreading through the Memphis Police Department, at least not yet.

Last week, Police Director Toney Armstrong addressed rumors that officers upset over city benefit cuts would stage a sick out. WREG is investigating where this protest stands.

"I'm hoping that nothing happens. I heard that it was supposed to happen today," said Officer Mike Williams, Memphis Police Association President.

Officer Williams says the Memphis Police Association never asked for or sanctioned a sick-out of MPD officers in protest of health benefits being cut. He suspects that came from officers in the field who felt they had no other way to show the city administration how upset they are.

"Sometimes there's a ground swell and sometimes you can only kick a dog for so long before it bites you," said Williams.

If officers wanted to strike back by staging a sick out, a memo from their boss may have changed minds.

Director Armstrong demanded almost everyone wear uniforms or have it within arms reach during the time of the rumored sick out. He also sent to the media the consequences officers face for repeatedly calling in sick.

Armstrong wasn't in today when we went to ask him if officers were reporting to work as scheduled but we did find all officers wearing their blues, even those assigned to detective bureaus at 201 Poplar who normally wear shirts and ties.

Williams said, "I'm hoping it doesn't happen. I have kids and young kids that live in the city. I don't want anything to befall them."

A Memphis police spokesperson told us by email there are no signs of the Blue Flu at this time.


  • Phyllis

    I would not blame them if they went on strike, the way they are being treated is criminal. AC Wharton should be ashamed of himself, but he is proud of all the crud that is going on including the racist remarks of Henri Brooks that yet again will go unpunished.

  • Hard Truths

    I guess that’s their rationale for all the dogs they shoot.

    This is a rogue, sub-standard police department that went on an illegal strike in Memphis in 1978. Don’t forget that.

  • gmo

    Don’t be scared Hard truths, because when and not if you shall too! Feel these officers pain and suffering!

  • HarrySchwarz

    I was at 201 Poplar today and saw all those investigators in uniform. They looked sharp! The director should make that permanent. After all, image is everything! ;)

  • Don

    Blue Flu is not spreading, and it won’t.
    I wonder how many officers have sent resumes to other Police Dept in other cities after they were threatened by Toney? I’m sure we will know in due time.
    Good Luck to Toney and AC on your new jobs. The meek will take you down.

  • gmo

    I so tired of fighting with these criminals everyday. I had to fight three suspects, three days straight, I’m just happy I didn’t get hurt on the job. Because If you get hurt on the job, the city doc. will shoot you up and tell you to get back in the fight within a day! Pathetic!

  • Gonebabygone

    Yeah. Sick outs will certainly help get sympathy from already stressed taxpayers. In an alternate universe.

    • bambam84

      Let’s focus on 90% of nothing except for traffic violations, major events, and news coverage for decades on end.
      Then, let’s have our pensions and budgets cut because there’s not enough in the budget. (Probably only half truth, the other half being the afore mentioned reasons.
      Upon hearing our budget is cut, we’ll protest, place billboards up, and finally, call in sick, which is WORSE than not handling anything more than traffic violations, major events, and news stories.
      Yet THESE are the people that get all bent out of shape for citizens not respecting them during the day to day grind.
      What goes around, comes around.

  • Get Informed

    Give these people what you promised them and put this behind us. God Bless you police and Fire Depts.

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