MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The number of Memphis police officers who are calling in sick with the so-called "Blue Flu" is dropping.
Memphis Police Department spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said 178 officers were out sick Wednesday, down from a high of 557 reached last week.
City officials have acknowledged that the sick calls are in protest of a City Council vote last month to cut health care subsidies and raise insurance premiums for city employees, including police officers and firefighters. The savings from the cuts are geared toward helping the city's troubled pension fund.
The vote led to protests outside City Hall from officers, firefighters and their families. Dozens of firefighters also have called in sick in the past week.
The City Council on Tuesday heard suggestions from the public for alternatives to the cuts.
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