MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Memphis Police Association claims officers are forced to work even after being injured on the job. The group says it's happening too often, putting officers and the public at risk.
MPA President Michael Williams told abc24.com nearly 30 officers this year were forced back on the job. He says it's because the city wants to save money.
“Crime is increasing and officers are encountering a lot of people out there that they have to get physical with and you're going to have injuries,” said Williams.
Police officers risk their lives everyday to serve and protect, but who's protecting them?
Williams said, "We think the doctors are working in conjunction with the city and forcing these guys to come back to work even when they're not ready.”
Williams says cops are being rushed back to work before they're physically able. He believes the dangerous problem is growing.
"What we find is that a lot of officers are re-injuring themselves because they weren't allowed an opportunity to fully recover, or they have to take line of duty disability because they injured themselves worse and then they can never come back,” he said.
Meaning, he says, officers are more worried about their injuries than chasing down crooks.
"If the city does not want to cover the costs of those injuries and give officers ample time to recover you're going to have officers that are going to be hesitant about going into situations because they don't know if they'll be compensated or if they'll be taken care of,” said Williams.
A spokeswoman from the Memphis Police Department said injuries are handled on a case by case basis. She says depending on the extent of the injury, the officer will go back to work but will be assigned a desk job if he or she is not able to perform in the field.