Murfreesboro police officer faces termination while battling can - WSMV News 4

Murfreesboro police officer faces termination while battling cancer

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Murfreesboro police officer Mike Robinson faces possible termination as he battles cancer. (WSMV) Murfreesboro police officer Mike Robinson faces possible termination as he battles cancer. (WSMV)

Mike Robinson has worked for the Murfreesboro Police Department for nearly 30 years. He started when he was just 19 years old

"It just seemed like an exciting job," Robinson said. "I wanted to help people, kind of give back to the community a little bit."

He moved from being a patrol officer to spending 17 years in criminal investigations, and later investigating property crimes.

While he's spent most of his life helping others, most of this year he's needed help of his own. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in March and underwent surgery in April. He's spent the last several months in and out of the hospital, unable to work. 

Last week news got worse for Robinson when he received a call from one a deputy police chief warning him that he could be getting fired soon.

"I said, are you serious? Why?," Robinson recalled. "They helped me get my disability. Why are they wanting to terminate me after 30 years?"

Robinson said he is on a two-year disability plan with the City of Murfreesboro, time he thought he could use to heal and recover.

He said he is shocked and also hurt.

"I said I've given them 30 years and it wasn't my fault that I got cancer, that I got sick," he said. "I want to work. I want to go back to work."

Robinson was first diagnosed with cancer last spring, but fought it successfully. He said he only took off a few weeks from work, but this time has been different.

"They don't care," Robinson said through his tears. "They don't care about their employees."

City Manager Rob Lyons said they do care. He is in charge of hiring and firing.

"We are certainly grateful to Mr. Robinson for his many years of service to our community and we're all hoping for the best," Lyons said. 

He said the city has been in an "interactive process" with Robinson since early summer working out sick leave.

Channel 4 asked if the pending termination was a disciplinary action.

"It is not disciplinary," Lyons said, "but he has not been able to perform his duties for a period of time and the city has granted several extensions of leave to hopefully give him sometime where he could return to work We've certainly considered other assignments to see if we could work through that."

Lyons said the city is waiting on a notice from Robinson's doctor to see if and when he can return to work.

"Unfortunately, we can't hold a position where somebody doesn't come to work for an undetermined period of time, so we are trying to see what we can do to resolve this," Lyons said.

Robinson said he just wants more time to heal and come back to the job he worked hard to be promoted in.

"I just want them to have some sympathy and be fair about it. I've given them 30 years. Surely they can give me a little more time."

Robinson will have officially served 30 years with the Murfreesboro Police Department on Oct. 20.

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