Police in Puerto Rico are staging a sickout at a rate of nearly 2,000 officers a day.

The sickout comes a month after hundreds of police protested proposed cuts in retirement benefits and demanded higher wages and overtime pay. Officers also protested an announcement by the U.S. territory's governor that public employees will have to take time off rather than be paid for accrued sick leave.

Police Chief Hector Pesquera warned on Monday that the absences are putting the public in the U.S. territory at risk.

The island has the second-largest force in the U.S. with roughly 17,000 officers.