In this 22 December 2017 photo, six year old Melanie Oliveras González stand on the porch of her house, in front of a handful of electric cables knocked down by the winds of Hurricane Maria, in Morovis, Puerto Rico. Morovis has been without power since hurricane smashed into the island in November. Photo: Carlos Giusti / AP Photo

By Danica Coto
28 December 2017

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Thousands of police officers are calling in sick every day in Puerto Rico, partly to press demands for unpaid overtime pay for hurricane recovery efforts as concerns grow over people's safety in a U.S. territory struggling to restore power.

The increase in absences recently prompted Puerto Rico Police Chief Michelle Hernandez to recommend that U.S. National Guard soldiers help fill the temporary vacancies.

"We have had an inordinate amount of absences that we haven't seen in years prior," she told The Associated Press, adding that while there has been a drop in major crimes this year, she is concerned that trend could reverse.

However, the administration of Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Wednesday rejected the idea of using the National Guard.

Normally, an average of 550 police officers are absent every day across Puerto Rico, which has one of the largest police departments under U.S. jurisdiction with more than 13,000 officers overall. But recently, more than 2,700 officers on average have been absent daily. […]

Hernandez estimated the government owes officers an additional $35 million in overtime pay, but said the department is still tallying attendance sheets to determine the exact amount. [more]

Thousands of Puerto Rico police owed overtime call in sick

1 comments :

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