Gov. Haslam: THP to help Memphis Police Department

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says the state is offering to dedicate Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers to help Memphis deal with a rash of sick calls from police officers upset about cuts to their health care benefits.

Memphis police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said Tuesday the number of officers who are currently out sick has increased to 554. That represents about a quarter of the total force, which stands at about 2,200 officers.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong has said the sick calls are part of officers' protests of a City Council vote that reduces health care subsidies for city employees, including police.

Haslam tells The Associated Press that Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons has been in contact with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. about the situation.

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