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Tupelo approves donated leave for officer


The Associated Press



TUPELO -- The Tupelo City Council will allow employees to donate sick days to a police officer wounded in a shooting on Dec. 23. 


Deputy Chief Allan Gilbert says the Police Department got together to make sure fellow officer Joseph Maher gets the time off he needs to recover from the shooting. They asked the city council to allow them to donate their sick time. 


"It's a brotherhood and sisterhood," said Gilbert. "We care and love each other and support each other. It's a tough job. Any call we get, something like this can happen, and it's good that everybody comes together." 


Maher is out of the hospital and recovering at home after being one of two officers shot during a bank robbery last month. Sgt. Gale Stauffer was shot and killed. 


Gilbert said Maher, a five-year veteran, doesn't have enough sick days to remain on leave for the time it will take to recover. 


The city's workers compensation contract will pay Maher 66 percent of his normal salary and all medical expenses. However, the remainder of his salary must come from his accrued sick leave. 


Other officers wanted to give Maher some of their sick days.




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