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“He’ll Be Taken Care Of”: Officer Maher Gets Sick Leave Donations

TUPELO, Miss.–The other officer shot during the Dec. 23 bank robbery where Tupelo Police Cpl. Gale Stauffer was killed will be able to take donations of paid sick leave time from his fellow officers after action from the Tupelo city council Tuesday night.

Mayor Jason Shelton said normally, Officer Joseph Maher, 27, would only be able to collect 66 percent of his salary from worker’s comp insurance, but the donations would kick in once Maher uses all of his own sick leave.

“A lot of that depends on how long the officer has been with the department. How much sick time that he’s used if he has any vacation available and we will monitor that closely to make sure that’s never an issue and that he’s taken care of,” said Tupelo’s Assistant Police Chief Allan Gilbert, talking to media after the meeting.

He described the department as a brotherhood and sisterhood.

“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.”

The city can’t just give the officer all the leave he wants, if it’s not there. Shelton said that would be considered a gift and would be against state law.

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