Is a Police "Sick Out" Underway in Memphis?

Jul 7, 2014

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says 308 officers have called in sick in the last week in what appears to be a deliberate work action.

The Commercial Appeal reports the number announced on Sunday was a big increase from the 181 officers who had called in sick by Saturday.

Because of the number of officers out, the Shelby County Sheriff's Department is helping to patrol the city.

Armstrong says the actions come in an apparent protest to a City Council vote that will reduce health care subsidies for city employees. The funds will be redirected to the city's troubled pension fund.

Mayor AC Wharton says the city was forced to take action, citing a recent state law mandating that cities fully fund their pension plans within five years.