SAN JOSE (CBS 5) – Despite budget tightening that has left the San Jose Police Department short staffed, the force has seen a huge jump in sick calls in recent months.

A Mercury News investigation found that police sick calls are up 40 percent in 2011. The year has been filled with layoffs, scandals and a surge in homicides. Some say morale is down.

Now, a policy allowing officers to cash out unused sick days when they retire may be taken away as part of pension reform.

San Jose Police Officers Association President Jim Unland said there is no coordinated effort among officers to cash out the time, and Chief Chris Moore downplayed the rise in sick calls.

Moore said San Jose probably had an artificially low number of sick calls in the past due to the cash out policy. It’s a policy being targeted by Mayor Chuck Reed.

“We can no longer afford that.  It’s costing us ten million dollars a year,” said Reed.

On Tuesday, Reed and the city council will decide weather to put a pension reform proposal – which includes the sick time change – on the June ballot.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Think about it says:

    When you start short changing the police you are asking for trouble. Police in the United States are better then anywhere else in the world even with all the negative media hype leveled at them. You pay for what you get. Look at the police in Mexico, under paid, no benefits, nothing. They end up working for the cartels. Do you want that here. Without a safe secure society nothing can flourish. The police have suffered with affirmative action hiring and promotion practices and tons of regulations I am suprised they still function at all.

  2. Bay Area Guy says:

    Wow! I can not believe I see the words “affirmative action hiring” in a post here on CBS 5. When I used the words “Affirmative Action hiring”, when I posted a comment about the Former Philadelphia schools superintendent, Arlene Ackerman. My post was deleted in less than an hour.

    Let see how long your post lasts – Think about it

  3. Bay Area Guy says:

    The scam is in the open. Unlike you and I, Joe regular worker. The Policemen and Firemen can stock pile Sick and vacation time year over year. So when they retire all the sick and vacation time they stockpiled over the last few years of service is calculated into their last year’s salary. That way their pension will be based on an inflated salary and we ( Tax payers) get to pay for the extra bucks they scammed out of the system till the day they die. Do you feel serviced now????

    The policemen see the end of their scam is in sight –SOOO they’re cashing in on their sick time now, before the mayor takes it away, like all the other employers do at the end of the calendar year.
    Not hard to figure out- Sherlock

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