Hundreds of Memphis police officers call in sick

From left, Memphis Police Officers P. Perez, J. Gay, J. Fulghum, and T. Quinn wait outside of Division 3 Traffic Court in case they are needed to testify on Monday, July 7, 2014 in Memphis, Tenn. More than 400 officers have called in sick in the past week in what appears to be a deliberate action to protest planned cuts to their health care, officials said Monday. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Jim Weber)
From left, Memphis Police Officers P. Perez, J. Gay, J. Fulghum, and T. Quinn wait outside of Division 3 Traffic Court in case they are needed to testify on Monday, July 7, 2014 in Memphis, Tenn. More than 400 officers have called in sick in the past week in what appears to be a deliberate action to protest planned cuts to their health care, officials said Monday. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Jim Weber)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis police say hundreds of officers have called in sick in the past week in what appears to be a deliberate action to protest planned health care cuts.

Memphis Police Department spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said 554 officers called in sick on Tuesday alone.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong has said the sick calls are to protest a City Council vote reducing health care subsidies for city employees, including police and fire staff, in order to redirect money toward the city’s troubled pension fund. Officers and firefighters, along with their families, have staged protests at City Hall since the council’s vote on June 17. Officers have been calling in sick since June 30.

The department has about 2,280 officers.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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