A Texas police officer battling lung cancer may lose her job after nearly 25 years — all because of a city policy.
Fort Worth officer D.D. Willingham has been serving on light duty for the past two years as she grapples with terminal lung cancer, KDFW reported. However, the veteran officer was recently told that unless she could come back full time she would have to be let go.
According to KDFW, city policy says Willingham will be removed from the force because she has a non-work related illness and is unable to return full time.
The circumstances have forced Willingham to take out a $32,000 loan to buy forward her unemployment until September, when she will have reached 25 years with the department and can retire with full benefits.
On Friday, a luncheon raised more than $3,000 for Willingham to pay toward the money she has loaned the city. An online donation page has also raised nearly $8,000 for her.
“It’s a very difficult situation and a difficult process that we are all having to endure but we’re all coming together as we do as a police family,” officer Shelby Meza told KDFW.
Other officers have volunteered to donate their sick and leave time to help their officer in need, Rick Van Houton, president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association said.
“Now in their time of their greatest need, we’re just really throwing the baby out with the bath water,” he added, referencing the city policy.
A spokesperson for the department told KDFW that the police chief does not support the controversial city policy.
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