By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The union representing Philadelphia police officers say there are concerns among its members over accommodations during the visit of Pope Francis.
As the city continues to work on a plan for police officers and other city employees during papal weekend, police officers are concerned over where they are going to stay and for how long during that time.
“Our phones are ringing off the hook up here wanting to know what is going on,” says Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 Vice President John McGrody. “Unfortunately, we don’t know a whole lot at this point.”
McGrody says although there has not been official word on assignments and accommodations, there are rumblings that officers will be lodged in places like schools, instead of being bused in.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling to us that police officers will not be able to get in and out of the event,” he says, “when our police officers are the ones who will be manning the traffic posts in the city.”
McGrody says many officers have said they’d rather spend six or seven hours sleeping in their own beds, instead of 12 hours somewhere else.
The city says officers will be given 3 1/2 weeks notice of their assignments.