Jellico internal memo says police officers' weight a potential liability

JELLICO, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Jellico mayor Les Stiers said he can't believe what he saw in the memo, addressing ways to save the city money.

"That's very distasteful - that's a violation of civil rights and discrimination," said Stiers.

He's talking about how the memo claims the weight of police officers is a liability,

Here's what it says: "We also discussed the weight issues in the police department, if they were having physicals and what was being done about it. This can make the city susceptible to workers' compensation claims."

Vice mayor Venita Johnson said she didn't bring up the issue - it was the City Recorder. But Johnson does want the city to look into it.

"Check to see if there is a weight limit - if there is something in place or something like that so that, like I stated - the city will not be responsible in case they get out and have to run and chase somebody down or pull a muscle or something because of their weight. So I just want to be - one of those things, look on the city side so we won't be responsible and liable for the situation," said Johnson.

"Weight is not a condition of employment anywhere you go, and it is not in the city of Jellico. So that issue will never be mentioned or discussed at all," said Stiers.

Police chief Chris Anderson didn't have much to say on the issue:

"I really don't want to address that situation at this time, due to the fact that there may be some type of litigation," said Anderson.

Mayor Stiers said the layoffs won't happen and no one will ever get fired for their weight. He said hopeful council will come up with money-making ideas, but Johnson is convinced it'll take layoffs and increasing revenue to get the city back on track.

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