Officers want to donate time to Maher



By JB Clark

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo’s police are asking the City Council to allow their sick leave to be donated to a wounded officer.

The request stems from the desire of some officers to donate their leave to officer Joseph Maher, according to Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre.

The 27-year-old Maher was shot by a fleeing bank robbery suspect on South Gloster Street on Dec. 23. The suspect was caught in traffic and shot Maher and another officer as they attempted to approach the suspect’s vehicle.

Tupelo Police Sgt. Kevin “Gale” Stauffer, 38, died from a gunshot wound sustained during the shootout.

“Each officer gets a day (of sick leave) per month (worked), and that accrues,” Aguirre said. “Some of these officers are wanting to donate to (Maher’s) sick leave because they know that he’s only got five years of time in the department.”

Maher has worked in the Tupelo Police Department since September 2008.

The sick days accrued over five years will probably not be enough to recover from a serious gunshot wound, according to the police chief.

“He’s going to need some time donated to make sure he doesn’t lose pay, and we want to make sure he continues to receive his pay,” Aguirre said, adding that those who have been in the department for multiple decades like himself have saved up enough sick leave to spare.

The request to be able to donate sick leave is on the Tupelo City Council’s agenda review and should go before the City Council for approval Tuesday night.

Maher was released from North Mississippi Medical Center on Tuesday morning, eight days after being shot.

Aguirre said Maher is able to communicate and can walk with assistance.

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  • 1bubba

    I think it’s a shame that any officer injured in the line of duty has to use their personal time to recover. What if recovery took a year? Would he go a year without pay? Does the city not have workers comp? I know troopers who are injured while on duty go on workers comp immediately. The same is not true for other state officers like MDOT or MDWFP, but even after their personal time is used they have workers comp. The city needs to take care of those who take care of it! If employees can be suspended with pay for doing wrong while being investigated, surely he can be paid while recovering.

  • Jack Kevork

    Yes, the city should be paying Joseph as though he was working full-time, no questions asked. While noble of the other officers, they should not have to donate the time, that should be on the city dime. Believe that.



  • Byron

    If the City Council of Tupelo is going to let something like this be NEEDED to help an officer injured so greviously in our place, to keep us safe……they need to be recalled and replaced, seat by seat, post haste. He should be paid 100% until the day he is back to 100% duty. He never went off duty that day……he never got to the end of his shift, or End of Watch like the other officer, rest his soul. Until he can patrol and end his shift, he is still on duty. This is such a crock of crap. Says a lot for the politicians if it’s not rectified.