Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Friday, February 3, 2012


The life expectancy of a law enforcement officer that retires with at least twenty years on the job is 66 years (Link ) while the average life expectancy of an American is 77.5. One of the reasons for this, I believe, is how sick days are handled in law enforcement.

I receive one sick day a month that is rolled into a bank. However, once you reach a hour threshold in the bank (it takes usually 7 years of no sick days) there is a six and six split. So six days are placed into the bank but the other six days are put into a medical mutual fund. The medical mutual fund is tax free going in and if it is a medical expense, it is tax free coming out. Then after another threshold is met, the bank is maxed and all twelve days are rolled into the fund. At retirement the bank is paid off at the current salary rate and the fund leaves with you.

Thus the days are incredibly valuable. The tax free nature saves about 28% of the value of the money and the bank is an investment, that unless the governing body of the jurisdiction goes bankrupt, with pay off with a profit.

The bottom line is basically for every sick day not taken it will be worth about five days in a 20+ career.

The idea was that the city would not have to cover a shift at time and a half to fill the slot of the sick officer. However, in the long run the city will end up paying much more than one shift at time and a half. The officer knowing the value of the sick day will also go into work despite any current aliment and "ride it out". A result of that is a delayed recovery. It would be an interesting study to see if officers are sick more often and for longer periods of time. If that is the case it has to be a cause of a quicker physical decline as seen in the life expectancy in this profession verses the public at large.

So off I go into work tonight, sick as a dog. The flu has hit me and my family full force. I will put in a good nights work, it will not deviate from my normal production and I will be sick a few days longer than if I just stayed in bed and slept. Further, I hope I do not spread it around the station but there have been shifts were every squad was a virus vector.

2 Chronicles 21:15
and you will become very sick with a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the sickness, day by day.

1 comment:

Liza Lea said...

Take your sick time. I am very fortunate to work for an agency that has an unlimited sick time policy as long as there is a doctor's approval for any sick day taken. Get well soon, brother.