All officers produce doctor’s note

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016

All Selma Police Department officers who participated in last month’s sick out have provided a doctor’s note for the days they were absent.

Prior to Tuesday night’s council meeting just a few officers had not turned in the notes.

However, Mayor George Evans said all officers have now complied.

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“My understanding from the chief is that everyone has turned one in,” Evans said.

Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw asked if the officers could have been given up to five days off without providing a medical excuse.

Evans answered “not quite,” and said the city’s policy is that a doctor’s note is required after five days but that a department head can ask for one for any sick day when there is “some type of irregularity.”

Evans said at last week’s work session that he thought the sick out was political, which started 12 days before the municipal election.

“It was political. I’ll say that all over the world. Why now? Why then?” Evans said. “This problem has been existing a long time. They chose to do it at the time they felt they could have the greatest impact.”

Starting Aug. 11, all patrol officers called in sick for at least four or five days. Officers publicly demanded pay increases and equipment upgrades and outlined other concerns in a letter to the mayor and council.

The number of officers missing work dwindled as the month progressed, but all eventually returned to their normal shifts.

The Selma City Council voted Aug. 18 to give all first responders, including the police and fire departments, raises starting Oct. 1 but haven’t yet announced how much the increases will be.