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Cop honored for attendance: 'It's a great job'

Sgt. Edmund Keane used vacation time when he was too sick to work.
Anderson Cooper
New York

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Forty years at any job is a feat. Forty years as a police officer in New York City is remarkable. Forty years without ever taking a sick day, unbelievable but true.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper talked to 62-year-old Sgt. Edmund Keane, who was singled out at a ceremony honoring officers with 30 or more years of service over his career.

COOPER: Why haven't you taken a sick day?

KEANE: I just really didn't have the need. You know, we have ample vacation. They give us ample vacation time.

COOPER: So the few times you've gotten sick, you've actually used your own vacation time?

KEANE: A vacation day, or if I had some kind of comp time, where I might have had some extra time, I just utilized those days.

COOPER: You're saying this is no big deal. But I mean, you're using vacation days, when I mean, the city gives you plenty of sick days, don't they?

KEANE: Well, we actually have unlimited sick time. But, I'm pretty healthy, thank God. So I just utilized my own days. I didn't really see a need to use their days.

COOPER: Did you always want to be on the force?

KEANE: Yes. I love the police department. I work with really wonderful people, fine men and women, and it's been an honor to be a part of the department all these years.

COOPER: Your colleagues, did they say "Come on Ed, take a day"?

KEANE: No, nobody really recognizes. This just happened because of the award ceremony. Otherwise people wouldn't even be aware of this.

COOPER: So it's not something you even have talked about.

KEANE: No, it's not something you go around talking about. People are accustomed to seeing me every day. I come into work, do whatever I have to do, my assignments, either in the field or in the office, and that's it.

COOPER: And you're going to be reaching the mandatory retirement age soon.

KEANE: Yes, sir. Yes, in November, sad to say.

COOPER: And it's something, because a lot of police officers think, once I get my 20 years on the job, I'm off and I get my pension. But I mean, you just love it.

KEANE: Yes. Yes, I do. I love it. It's a great opportunity to serve people. As I said, I work with beautiful people. Great people. And you know, gives an opportunity to serve. And all work is honorable. But you might as well do something that you like. And it's a great job.

COOPER: Well, your work is honorable indeed, and you do it very well. Sgt. Edmund Keane, thank you very much for being on the program.

KEANE: Thank you, sir.

COOPER: Congratulations, it's amazing.

KEANE: Thank you very much, sir.

COOPER: I'm never going to take another sick day. I feel very slothful.

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