Hepatitis C in the NYPD

Sick Cops Claim the Department is Dodging the Law to Deny Them Benefits

On both sides of the law, people with hepatitis C have a common and wily enemy in the disease. His days as a patrol cowboy long behind him, Michael now has his buddies cover for him while he snoozes away part of his time in the offices. Out on sick leave, Nick is now free to sleep as much as he wants—and regularly dozes about three hours during the day. Much of the rest of the time, he spends pondering his illness and his ongoing battle over it with the police department.

Now retired detective John Croston: "I went before the board 39 times, and they denied me 39 times."
photo: Pak Fung Wong
Now retired detective John Croston: "I went before the board 39 times, and they denied me 39 times."

"I just don't get it," he says. "Here's an agency that's sworn to uphold the law. And then there's a law on the books—and they're just circumventing it. It's ironic."

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