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Modeling good behavior on pensions

In a state with a history of ethically challenged behavior, the Rhode Island State Police has long had a well-deserved reputation for integrity. And when Channel 12's Tim White looked at the prevalence of accidental disability pensions in Rhode Island, the state police came up very favorably by comparison.  

From my Q+A with Superintendent Brendan Doherty in last week's Phoenix:

OF ALL THE COMMUNITIES EXAMINED BY CHANNEL 12, THE STATE POLICE HAD THE LOWEST RATE OF ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY PENSIONS. MOST CITIES AND TOWNS WERE UP AROUND 40, 30 PERCENT, SOME IN THE 20S. YOU GUYS WERE AT EIGHT PERCENT. I THINK IT WAS OF 230 RETIREES, ONLY 19 HAVE AN ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY PENSION. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THIS LOW RATE TO?
Unfortunately, we've had some troopers hurt to a degree where they have to retire. We closely scrutinize any request for a disability pension. I have refused two myself in the last two years, and those people have gone on to retire. I think the troopers take a lot of pride in their conditioning, and take a lot of pride in their job. We do not have a problem with sick leave. About four years ago, I surveyed the troopers of the state police and found, I believe, they use 1.5 sick days a year on the average. That's incredible. Now many, many do not use any time. I once went 10 years without a sick day, and there are many troopers that have gone longer than that.

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