Some of the Newtown cops who responded to the school shooting in Newtown are so traumatized they haven’t been working, but they have to use sick time and could soon be at risk of going without a paycheck, a union official said Wednesday.
Currently, employees are only covered for mental impairment “as the result of using or being subjected to deadly force — but not for those who witness crime scenes with mass casualties.”
“The insurer for the town has taken a position that these officers are entitled to only what the statute allows. Unfortunately for these officers, the statute doesn’t allow any benefits,” said Eric Brown, an attorney for the union, which represents nearly 4,000 officers around Connecticut.
On December 14, Adam Lanza walked into two first grade classrooms and repeatedly shot and killed 20 children and six adults, before turning the gun on himself. The children were shot between two and eleven times each, and most died on scene. There is no known motivation for shooting.
I’m sure the issue will probably be debated and discussed in the next legislative session, when lawmakers will weigh the cost and potential for abuse against the need for such a measure in extreme cases. State Rep. Stephen Dargan, Democrat and co-chairman of the legislature’s public safety committee says, “We don’t want it to be used in an abusive way, but the circumstances are so horrific in Newtown. We need to protect those first-responders and give them all the help we can give them.”
Gumbumpers, do you think the first-responder cops should be given time off for emotional trauma?