- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2020

BALTIMORE (AP) - A report from Baltimore’s watchdog has concluded that one of the city’s police officers abused medical leave policies over two years by going on skydiving trips to South Carolina and Florida despite reporting being injured on the job.

The report from the city’s Office of Inspector General did not identify the officer, who had been given light duty assignments after reporting his injuries, the Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday. The investigation uncovered that the officer took the trips despite alleging knee, wrist and back injuries resulting from two on-duty car crashes.

“Before skydiving, the officer signed a medical waiver with the skydiving company indicating they had no back injury or orthopedic problems,” the report states. “Medical professionals told the OIG that they would not authorize a patient with the same injuries as the officer to go skydiving.”

The watchdog and the police department’s public integrity unit investigated the officer’s actions after receiving an anonymous tip. The officer was charged internally with conduct unbecoming of an officer and general misconduct, according to the newspaper. The outcome of the charges is unclear, but the report states the officer remains out on medical leave.

The report blames the police department for not addressing the officer’s abuse of sick days and medical leave and overtime pay for medical appointments.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison in a written response to the investigation said his agency has reviewed and overhauled its “management of personnel on medical leave and light duty status.”

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