Dec 28, 2017

Police officers in Puerto Rico call in sick over owed overtime pay

A police car patrols the streets of Albonito, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Thousands of Puerto Rico's police officers are calling in sick to protest rising tabs of owed overtime pay, AP reports. In the weeks after Hurricane Maria, officers worked 7 days a week for 12 to 15 hours at a time, lobbying groups for the police told AP.

The big picture: Demand spiked for police officers to aid in the hurricane recovery and ensure safety in cities and towns that lost power for weeks after Maria hit the island. Per AP, Puerto Rico's police department usually sees about 550 absences a day. Recently, an average of 2,700 of the island's 13,000 officers have been absent each day, and police chief Michelle Hernandez has recommended that U.S. National Guard soldiers step in to fill spots.

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