In Support of Pride
How’s this for a study in contrasts:
OF ALL THE COMMUNITIES EXAMINED BY CHANNEL 12, THE STATE POLICE HAD THE LOWEST RATE OF ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY PENSIONS. MOST CITIES AND TOWNS WERE UP AROUND 40, 30 PERCENT, SOME IN THE 20S. YOU GUYS WERE AT EIGHT PERCENT. I THINK IT WAS OF 230 RETIREES, ONLY 19 HAVE AN ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY PENSION. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THIS LOW RATE TO?
Unfortunately, we’ve had some troopers hurt to a degree where they have to retire. We closely scrutinize any request for a disability pension. I have refused two myself in the last two years, and those people have gone on to retire. I think the troopers take a lot of pride in their conditioning, and take a lot of pride in their job. We do not have a problem with sick leave. About four years ago, I surveyed the troopers of the state police and found, I believe, they use 1.5 sick days a year on the average. That’s incredible. Now many, many do not use any time. I once went 10 years without a sick day, and there are many troopers that have gone longer than that.
One hears tales of public employees at the local level working the sick-time benefit to pump up each other’s overtime. Perhaps the keepers of Rhode Island’s ethical standards should spend some time examining the factors that make state troopers healthier and less — ahem — accident prone.