Rabb highlights legislation to reform police sick time in response to report

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 19 – State Reps. Chris Rabb and Brian Sims, both D-Phila., introduced legislation in February that would inject more transparency into the Heart and Lung Act benefits system.

As news organizations report on the city controller’s audit of the Philadelphia Police Department, Rabb said he has legislation ready that would address one major flaw outlined in the audit.

Some of the controller’s recommendations include improving the accuracy and consistency of the data collected and tracked related to Heart and Lung benefits and having the police department work with the Office of Risk Management to design a better process for identifying instances where investigation and action is required against officers who abuse the system.

“Too often, as investigative reports have found, there are so-called injured officers holding down second jobs, playing on travel softball teams and engaging in strenuous physical activity, all while supposedly being too injured to perform police work,” Rabb said. “Each time a law enforcement officer unfairly benefits from and abuses the system, they are taking money from not only taxpayers, but also their fellow police officers, as well as sowing distrust with the public.”

This legislation would make it more difficult for officers to abuse the system by requiring that the physicians who evaluate injured officers are chosen independently. As things stand, the Fraternal Order of Police chooses physicians for injured police officers in Philadelphia, which could lead to conflicts of interest.