Metro Nashville could reduce pay for injured police, firefighter - WSMV Channel 4

Metro Nashville could reduce pay for injured police, firefighters

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

They put their lives on the line to keep the rest of us safe, but police and firefighters are angry with the city about potential pay reductions when they are hurt on the job.

Right now, if a police officer or firefighter is hurt at work they get 100 percent of their pay for six months. The emergency personnel argue that is fair compensation for their life-threatening work.

However, Metro Nashville says it's not fair to taxpayers, so the Civil Service Commission is now considering cutting the benefit for injuries on the job.

The problem is that in just four years, the cost to taxpayers has nearly doubled from $1.8 million to $3.5 million.

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson says there is just too much room for fraud.

"I could go back to one individual who was walking on a sidewalk and detected a twinge in their knee and later, as middle-aged people like myself, determined that knee surgery is required. We denied the claim and filed a grievance, but, frankly, this commission approved it," Anderson said.

The city wants to knock the pay down to 66 percent, which mirrors what the state pays. And, because this injured-on-the-job pay isn't taxed, 66 percent is close to full pay.

But many Nashville firefighters say reducing the benefit is an outrage for people hurt in the line of duty.

The commission is set to make the final decision on this, and could decide to leave it at 100 percent, go with 66 percent or even come up with its own formula.

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