Tuesday, April 6 2010 5:14 PM EDT2010-04-06 22:14:18 GMT
Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre spoke out Tuesday about what he is calling an "organized and illegal effort" on the part of officers, which could result in reprimand, suspension or even dismissal.More >>
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Tuesday's Blue Flu outbreak that resulted in 70 Toledo Police officers calling in sick appears to be winding down.
Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre says two officers called in sick for the 8 p.m.-4 a.m. shift Tuesday evening and six called in sick for the midnight shift. The chief says that's slightly above normal for call-offs.
Earlier Tuesday, the chief said it appeared there was an illegal, organized effort to call in sick. City leaders say the officers called in because they are angry about the concessions they're being asked to accept to balance the budget.
Navarre expressed his anger over the situation Tuesday. "I have directed internal affairs to initiate a departmental investigation to determine who the persons were that were responsible."
The chief says the public has not been at risk during the calloffs. He also says the internal investigation could lead to reprimands, suspensions and even dismissals from the force.
City Council members are concerned for the public's safety.
"I would hope that the officers are... getting back to work because obviously we need every officer on the street," said George Sarantou, Toledo City Council.
"Let's just hope it's a one-day activity. I think the citizens are going to be really worried about this," said Wilma Brown, Toledo City Council president.
The Toledo Police Patrolman's Association's president says the union is considering a strike because of the forced concessions.
"And we said, guys hold the line. This is not a fight with the citizens but you know, like I said, I'm not sure if it's a matter of anger or guys are truly sick," Dan Wagner said.
Navarre says he'll have contingency plans if there's a strike but would not get into specifics.