Several police officers in Newton, CT -- men who were among the first responders to the school shooting -- are now claiming PTSD. One of them has apparently never returned to work and NBC spent some time with him and his attorney in TV this morning, murmuring and exchanging troubled glances.
But that's not the disturbing part; that's just Big Media business as usual: grope for your heartstrings and yank as hard as they dare, then sell you tires and toothpaste while you're vulnerable.
No, the disturbing part is that some of these officers want to be sent home on full pay until they reach retirement age 'cos of their new disability. Newtown's insurance covers two year's pay, leaving the town stuck paying more than one officer for more than ten years of... Not policing. Being mopey.
There was a time when any policeman worthy of the name would die of shame rather than admit to being defeated by a single horrible crime scene (listen to some corners of the blogitariate and they'll tell it's still like that, only worse; that all cops are headcases who revel in blood and death. At least we can now mark that theory debunked). There was once a time when even public servants strove to give full value for their pay.
Those days are gone. Gone, too, are the days when a strong man could stand up and admit he'd been emotionally overwhelmed by a terrible situation, but he was determined to overcome it. Nope, now we've got policemen who go on TV and choke back tears, sitting next to legal counsel and hoping, oh, hoping their employer will see the light, and send them home to sleep in, eat chocolates, watch soap operas and weep. And they'll take 'em to court if they don't.
I have a great deal of compassion for the adults and children who survived the attack at the elementary school. Teachers don't expect to face anything much worse than playground accidents and upset tummies. But police? No, I'm sorry. Dreadfulness comes with the job. If you can't return to work, Mr. Officer, you'd better learn another trade, not lean on the taxpayers to keep your delicate self in contemplative idleness forevermore or until your pension kicks in.
6 months ago