The phrase “Blue Flu” describes a unique phenomenon: when mass numbers of police officers call out sick in a coordinated manner to protest a public policy. In states where police are legally prohibited from striking this has been a tool used by officers to leverage political power and enact change in government.
This is not a new tactic; in the past, it has been a means to promote the interests of police officers exclusively. In New York City, 1971, twenty-thousand police officers coordinated calling in sick to pressure public officials into giving officers higher pay and increased benefits – at the expense of the citizens’ bottom lines. The city acquiesced, and taxes went up. Police have used the Blue Flu in cities across America to fight for law enforcement causes. It’s time we have one in defense of citizens’ rights and for the protection of police officers who are asked every day to enforce laws that pit them against the citizens that they swore to protect and serve.