Chief Navarre: Blue flu is a violation of policy - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Chief Navarre: Blue flu is a violation of policy

By Lisa Rantala - bio | email

Posted by Kate Oatis

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre spoke out Tuesday about what he is calling an "organized and illegal effort" on the part of police officers, which could result in reprimands, suspensions or even dismissals.

Navarre says more than 70 officers failed to show up for duty Tuesday. That amounted to 50 percent of the night shift. This could cause problems, Navarre said, because "... there's a safety concern."

This situation came a day after concession talks with the city and Toledo Police Patrolman's Association (TPPA) failed to find a solution to the question of who will cover pensions and health care costs.

The union wants to negotiate a deal regarding an officer pension pickup of less than 10 percent and an overtime payment deferral. They said the city refused.

The city demands a full 10 percent pension pickup with officers picking up 20 percent of health care costs.

The TPPA is displeased.

"You're taking over $600 a month out of an officer's paycheck," said Dan Wagner, head of the TPPA.

Navarre is calling what the officers are doing a violation of policy, though the union said it discouraged the action. He said he instructed internal affairs to investigate.

"Once that investigation is completed and we're able to identify individuals involved, we will take the appropriate disciplinary action," Navarre said.

The chief thanked the officers who showed up and told them not to make many traffic stops or misdemeanor warrant arrests for their own safety. He then called Lucas County Sheriff James Telb to put deputies on standby in case police calls got out of hand.

He says it's a plan that will work if it happens again.

The union may have plans of its own.

"We're looking into a legal opinion to see whether or not we can strike," Wagner said.

Copyright WTOL 2010. All rights reserved.

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