MILLVILLE – City Commission this week approved a new policy that allows municipal employees to donate sick and vacation time to their fellow workers.

The program was prompted by the on-duty death of city patrol Officer Christopher Reeves in July.

Reeves’ wife, Susan, is also a member of the Police Department here. The local police union had asked the city to find a way to give Susan Reeves more time off.

City officials have declined to discuss the particulars of Susan Reeves’ case, citing personnel reasons.

However, Mayor Tim Shannon said Susan Reeves workmen’s compensation request was denied by the company that administers the program for the city. She can appeal, he said.

On Tuesday, City Commission voted 5-0 to approve an ordinance that changes the municipality’s personnel policy to allow for donated time. The city opted to enact the donated leave program as part of the municipal code instead of including it in contracts with the unions representing city employees.

Regardless of how it was implemented, Shannon said the program will be good for the city and its employees.

The ordinance limits the use of donated time for a “catastrophic health condition or injury” on behalf of an employee or a member of an employee’s family. The employee could get donated time only if the employee would miss at least 60 days of work or need at least 60 days to take care of a family member.

An employee can receive at most 260 days of donated sick or vacation time, according to the new policy.

Employees who donate time must retain at least 20 days of accrued sick time, and at least 12 days of accrued vacation time.

The city is one of only about 31 municipal and county governments that have donated time policies, according to the state Civil Service Commission.