LOS ANGELES - The LAPD received a "higher than normal" number of sick calls over the holiday weekend, and officials are investigating if the absences were due to the 'Blue Flu.'
The concept of the 'Blue Flu' has been circulating around social media for weeks following mounting pressure police departments are facing across the country along with calls to defund the police.
According to an LA Times article, up to 300 officers called in sick over the July 4 weekend.
The LAPD is investigating whether or not officers participated in the 'Blu Flu' as part of a protest, which would be illegal, or if the sick calls could be contributed to another reason. If officers did participate in the Blue Flu, the officers would be guilty of misconduct and punished.
The LAPD released a statement:
"While the LAPD experienced a higher than normal absentee rate over the holiday weekend, we were able to shift our resources where they were needed, to meet our minimum patrol staffing. Public safety is our priority, and the men and women of this Department are dedicated to that mission, as the vast majority of police officers reported to work as scheduled over the holiday.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League sent a letter to its membership discouraging the Blu Flu saying it is "wrong and illegal." Within the letter, the union officials said "we urge you not to take this action. The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Police Protective League unequivocally condemns any attempt to engage in a "Blue Flu." It is wrong, it is illegal, and it is contrary to the oath we all took as police officers to protect our community."
The union also said, "We should note, however, that we've had a very large increase in COVID cases and we don't know how many people called in sick above what a normal 4th of July weekend would have been."