The Philadelphia Inquirer says Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey are right to seek changes in the police department’s disability policy, which the newspaper calls too lenient and costly. Nearly one in 10 Philadelphia police officers is unavailable for duty under a system that encourages injured officers to stay off the job as long as possible, at more than full pay.
In 2005, an average of 87 officers per month were unable to work due to injuries. Last year, the number of “injured-on-duty” officers had risen to 241 per month. Policing the city is a dangerous job, but it’s not three times more dangerous than it was in 2005, says the Inquirer. At a time when the department is trying to get as many officers on the street as possible, this disability trend is hindering that goal.