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MIA: Number Of Cops On Sick Leave Skyrockets

missing_in_action.jpgDAILY NEWS: ON ANY given day, roughly 250 Philadelphia police officers are out of service due to on-the-job injuries. That’s more than 10 times as many as just a few years ago on a force that numbers about 6,600 officers. The drain on police manpower from “injured on duty” or IOD claims has skyrocketed since state legislators increased pay for injured officers and made it easier for them to resist returning to work. Police can now earn more by staying home than they can on the job. And if they disagree with a doctor’s finding that they’ve healed, they can stay home while a union lawyer argues their case before a review panel. “The police commissioner is trying to get as many officers on the street as he can,” said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore. “When you lose that kind of manpower every day, it’s a hindrance.” City risk manager Barry Scott said although most officers do the right thing and go back to work when they’re ready, the new rules make it easier to abuse the system. Scott said the number of injuries reported in the department has remained “remarkably constant” at about 1,350 a year. “The only thing that’s changed is the benefit,” Scott said. MORE

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