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Memphis Concerned About 'Blue Flu'

MEMPHIS, TN (via localmemphis.com) - There is a huge public safety concern in the city of Memphis amid the rumored "blue flu."
MEMPHIS, TN (via localmemphis.com) - There is a huge public safety concern in the city of Memphis amid the rumored "blue flu."

As of Monday morning, more than 470 officers have called out sick since June 30th.

That's more than 10 percent of the force.

Some are saying officers did it in protest against the city of Memphis over cuts to healthcare and pension benefits.

In a news conference mayor AC Wharton said the city will not be held hostage.

“It's not a matter of being disappointed in the officers, it's just that I sympathize with the citizens that are being held hostage," Wharton said. "Obviously we understand the grievances of the police officers and their desire to be heard as is the case with all of the employees and with the retirees."

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said those who have called in sick will be reviewed.

"We will review the officers that we have since they called out sick on the 30th and if any of those officers are found to be out of compliance with our sick policy the corrective action will be taken," Armstrong said.

Even with contingency plans, it will be hard with more than 10 percent of the force not on duty.

"We have several contingency plans in place for several levels of staffing levels, but as you probably know by now it has been challenging for us to fill all of our staffing levels. But at this point no citizens are at risk," Armstrong said.
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