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Terminally Ill Police Officer Will Keep His Job

Terminally Ill Police Officer Will Keep His Job

East Valley Tribune via YellowBrix

January 21, 2010

After that, Kelly said he would have received a $10,000-a-year pension.

“I may not be able to hold a gun and make a physical arrest, but I can investigate and do other jobs such as take reports,” Kelly said.

Meza could not be reached for comment.

Kelly has been performing light duties, such as answering phones, taking reports over the phone and handling walk-ins for the past several months.

Although Kelly types by using only his right hand because his left hand has less mobility, he recently purchased a laptop computer that helps him take reports over the phone easier, he said.

Brady told the Tribune on Wednesday that no one could force Kelly into taking an early retirement and that Kelly would have to apply for it, and the issue would go before a board.

“We’re working with Mr. Kelly to keep him on as long as possible,” Brady said. “We’d like him to get the maximum amount of time to benefit him and his family and allow him to build time by working from the office or his home.”

In recent months, thousands of dollars have been collected through fundraisers and benefits for Kelly’s family.

Kelly and his wife have four sons and a fifth child on the way.

Currently, the city has a fit-for-duty policy in which a police officer can be tested at any time to make sure he is fit for duty such as being able to run, shoot a gun and make a physical arrest, duties that a street officer is required to perform, according to Nate Gafvert, grievance chairman for the Mesa Police Association.

However, officers hold various jobs within the department that do not require them to perform physical tasks, Gafvert said.

“We’re hoping through all of this that we can work with the city and see if they can reconsider how they do business in regards to these situations,” Gafvert said.

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