L.A. Pays Millions as Police and Firefighter Injury Claims Rise

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An injury-leave program for Los Angeles police and firefighters has cost taxpayers $328 million over the last five years, an L.A. Times investigation found.

Former L.A. firefighter Raphael "The Noodle" Davis competed in mixed martial arts while on leave for a shoulder injury. He pleaded guilty to filing a false workers' comp claim and had to pay $30,000 in restitution.

Former L.A. firefighter Raphael "The Noodle" Davis competed in mixed martial arts while on leave for a shoulder injury. He pleaded guilty to filing a false workers' comp claim and had to pay $30,000 in restitution.

Total salaries paid to city public safety employees on leave increased more than 30% — to $42 million a year – from 2009 through 2013, the five-year period studied by The Times.

The number who took leaves grew 8%, and they were out of work an average of nearly 9 weeks — a 23% increase compared with 2009.

The increased frequency and cost of leaves has forced the Fire Department to spend millions of dollars a year in overtime and reduced the number of police officers on the street.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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