Some 675 Memphis police officers have called in sick in a “blue flu” protest of cuts in health-care and retiree benefits, reports WREG-TV in Memphis. Dozens of supporters for police officers and firefighters filled the room at a news conference yesterday by Mayor A C Wharton. Wharton and city councilors say they don’t want to make the cuts, and if anyone can think of a better way to save costs and help pay down the deficit, they are open to ideas.
Wharton admitted the city should have done something sooner to deal with a pension deficit. The mayor said Police Director Toney Armstrong is doing some schedule finagling to make sure police officers can respond to any crime in the city. City officials may bring in help from other agencies like the Tennessee National Guard.