(A)   Leave of absence without pay may be granted any member of the County Police Department irrespective of rank. The leave shall be from the position and rank he or she holds at the time the leave is granted and on termination of the leave, the officer shall be returned to the same rank he or she held at the time the leave was granted.
   (B)   All leaves of absence, except for military service, shall be for one year or less, with the privilege of obtaining a new leave at the expiration of the first.
      (1)   Leaves of absence shall be granted by the Sheriff with the approval of the Merit Commission, acting through its Chairperson.
      (2)   An officer on leave of absence who accepts a position other than that for which the leave is granted, without the written approval of the Sheriff and the Commission, shall be deemed to have resigned. An officer who fails to return to his or her  position following the granted leave, or to request and be granted a new leave of absence on or before the expiration of his or her first leave, shall also be deemed to have resigned.
   (C)   Leave of absence without pay may be granted for the following reasons and purposes:
      (1)   Illness of an employee, properly certified by a physician acceptable to the Merit Commission; however, the Commission may require a member who has applied for a leave, to submit to a physical examination by a physician of its choosing;
      (2)   Active duty in the military or naval service of the United States during a period of national emergency; and
      (3)   Other reasons acceptable to the Sheriff and the Merit Commission.
(1980 Code, § 33.10)  (1966 pp. 20—21, adopted 1- -1966)  (Sup. Rec. Bk. 237, pp. 91—92)