Cop Suspended After Calling In Sick During Hurricane Over No Childcare

Port St. Lucie Police Officer Erika Curry didn't have anyone to watch her children so she called in sick.

Port St. Lucie, FL - A Port St. Lucie police officer was suspended after she called in sick because she couldn't find anyone to take care of her children during Hurricane Irma.

Officer Erika Curry was suspended for 120 hours, which equals 12 days of full shifts, for violating department policy for misuse of sick benefits, absence from duty, and reporting for duty, police spokesman Master Sergeant Frank Sabol said.

During hurricanes, officers at the Port St. Lucie Police Department are obligated to work, Sgt. Sabol said. Officers had already been notified that they had to work mandatory 13-hour shifts as the hurricane approached.

Officer Curry had originally requested to use vacation time Sept. 9 and 10 during Hurricane Irma, but was denied, according to TCPalm.

She had no one to care for her kids because her husband, who is a St. Lucie county firefighter, was also required to work, according to an internal affairs (IR) report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Her supervisor, Acting Lieutenant Michelle Steele, told IA, “She said she didn’t have child care and her husband was being activated and she wouldn’t be able to work the emergency shift schedules as ordered."

Officer Curry's mother-in-law was supposed to watch her children, but she evacuated as the hurricane approached, leaving Officer Curry with no child care.

Instead, Officer Curry had a union rep call in sick for her during those two days, according to the IA report.

In a voicemail released by police, Officer Curry said "I’ve already booked out for today, so I wanted to let you know that tomorrow, of course, I’m gonna be calling in sick too because of the whole you know, no child care,” according to WEAR.

The IA report said, “She was directed via email that despite her request, she was still mandated to report to duty as required.”

After Officer Curry was directed by email to report to duty, she responded in another email that said “Sun I don’t have childcare as well the reason I wasn’t here today or tomorrow. Long story and I’m aware I’m prob getting a write up.”

A complaint was filed against Officer Curry on Sept. 20, and she did not deny the allegations, according to the IA report, which was signed and finalized in November.

During a recorded interview with Port St. Lucie Police Chief John A. Bolduc, Officer Curry said little but accepted responsibility for her actions.

Chief Bolduc asked Officer Curry “Have anything you want to add to the record?” during the interview.

"Nope,” Officer Curry said.

Officer Curry also had to sign what’s called a “Last Chance Agreement,” meaning if she does this again in a year’s span, she could be fired.

Officer Curry has already served her suspension, Sgt. Sabol said.

Both Chief Bolduc and Officer Curry declined to speak with WEAR.

This was hard for me to write, because I've been in this officer's shoes. So glad she put her children first, as she should. More people are either without family members close or don't have any family at all. I think that last chance agreement is harsh, too.

Hey, not your job, but here's a thought, you require officers for mandatory shifts in a emergency situation how about some of the officers teenage kids pulling a child watch in a unused meeting room, out of the way from the comings and goings of the PD itself. I'm sure the officers union could come up with the funds for pizza, movies, games. It's not a everyday situation, but could be used as a backup plan if you needed every available officer. Just a thought from a 30 year retired LEO. Maybe you can't swing it but just a thought.


Sorry, but my kids come first too!

If I couldn't find someone to watch my kids in that situation, I'd call in "sick" too. Kids should come first. My question is, why didn't they evacuate with the mother-in-law? Whether you're on the job or not, It's easier to deal with a crisis if your kids aren't in the middle of it. If this is not an ongoing problem with this officer, then in my opinion, the punishment was very harsh. Heaven help the mom whose trying to NOT neglect her kids during a hurricane. Um, hello! Don't we call the cops on people who neglect their kids??

People that use their kids as an excuse to miss work are irresponsible and immature, and it's many times worse if you are a cop, especially when you have numerous days to figure out a solution. Responsible people in any line of work have a contingency plan arranged, especially in the fields these two parents are in.


They both knew what would be expected in an emergency and accepted the responsibility when they took the jobs. If everyone with a kid working in law enforcement and as a firefighter or the military bailed during an emergency there would be chaos and likely deaths as a result. I have ultimate respect for police, firefighters and the military, but if you can't plan ahead for a situation you know will be inevitable at some point and go into pure snowflake mode after you failed to plan, move aside and let someone who understands the responsibility fill your position. And yes, I have kids and members of law enforcement in my family so please keep your bs excuses to yourself. Real heroes don't call in sick. She should be fired so she can do in-home daycare for the other snowflakes. Pathetic.


MOLONAVE63 Yeah, I doubt you have kids. Your comments reads like the rant of a man child, who could barely take care of a puppy.

@MOLONLABE63 You said "they accepted the responsibility when they took the jobs" Well guess what?? They also accepted responsibility to protect their children when they were born, you moron!! Sorry that you were neglected or dropped on your head by your parents, but this mother absolutely did the right thing! And the fact that you would leave your kids at home alone so you could go to work is pathetic...just like you. Her children also depend on her to do her job, especially during times of disaster. Her child(ren) depend on their mother, and children DO NOT COME SECOND to any job. She will win her lawsuit if she files one (Which she absolutely should) and I think the asshat supervisor who made her sign some ridiculous "Last chance agreement' should be suspended. Way to help out your employees who give 100% of themselves, who deal with the lowest of the low on the streets (and in her own office, apparently) and are out there willing to give their lives in the line of duty, but are suspended when they need help? Not acceptable

@MOLONLABE63 I see you are already catching flack so I'm going to try and not dump too much more on you..but ..being a parent isn't a 9 to 5 job and that job comes first. There are times in this life where you have to man up to the parent job and all other jobs will never be that important. If she was needed that bad, the department could have said, bring your kids here where they will be safe. You know I worked at a hospital where we were iced in and didn't have anyone but me (single parent) and I took my kids to work and set them up in empty rooms where I could check on them. I know it's not the same scenario but I'm quite sure that they had somebody at the station that could have helped her out if it was so GOD awful important for her to be there..that is what a family would do..aren't all departments supposedly saying how we are all a family???? I think her punishment is a little off the charts and somebody is out to get her using her family as the tool.

I guess she just should have left the kid at home alone.