Dozens of officers working in one New Jersey city called out sick Friday as part of a long-running contract dispute, officers say.
More than 80 officers at the East Orange Police Department called out sick for shifts, according to officers who didn't want to be named because of fear of backlash from the department. The move comes amid a three-year-long contract dispute between the department's rank-and-file union and the city.
All the officers that called out sick went to the same doctor's office in Bloomingdale. The physician was inundated with cops, with as many as 20 of them crowding the waiting room during parts of the day.
Officers say that the several cops were ordered to stay on the job Friday to ensure there would be cops keeping the city safe.
The city confirmed some officers called out sick Friday, but wouldn't say how many will be handing in doctor's slips.
East Orange mayor Lester Taylor said that the department had full coverage Friday, and no services had been disrupted.
"I respect the bargaining process and we have every intention of reaching a fair agreement that supports the brave men and women of our police department," he said.
East Orange Public Safety Director Sheilah Coley also confirmed that the city was kept safe Friday.
"We can assure the public is that the city has full coverage and there is no backlog in services to our citizens," she said.