Many have blasted the deputy in south Florida for refusing to enter the school while children died. I agree with them. However, in the interest of intellectual honesty, this story certainly explains why you wouldn’t want to.

The officer involved was shot in the head during the Pulse nightclub incident. Even though his helmet prevented the bullet from killing him, he did receive a closed head injury that has prevented him from returning to work. The Orlando police department has a rule that officers must return to work within a certain amount of time after being injured in the line of duty. If they do not, they must be examined by a doctor of Orlando PD’s choosing to qualify for a medical pension, or they will be fired. OPD does not have a doctor that can do the exam, so this officer will be terminated on September 30.

Now picture that you are a cop who is standing outside of a shooting incident, and you know that you could be killed or injured. You also know that your family would not be cared for if anything happened to you. Many people are willing to risk their own health and well being, but not those of their wife and children. Do you think that this is more or less likely to make you want to enter the building and risk it all for a public that will likely weasel out of their responsibility to you and your family?

Before you say that this is what cops sign up for, remember that the small risk of being hurt on traffic stops is different from charging an enemy in an entrenched position while under direct fire. That is more like combat than police work. Even worse, since combat troops have tools at their disposal (grenades, suppressive fire, air support, etc.) that police do not. On top of this, many insurance companies will not pay out if you are killed in a terrorist incident. You better believe that a cop’s insurance company is going to look for ways not to pay up, in a situation like this.

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Angus McThag · August 11, 2019 at 9:46 pm

But is *IS* what they signed up for.

Or what they remain signed up for, if you try to make the case that the environment has changed.

Honest work in the public sector is available to everyone…

Yet they stay.

One tool available to any cop is "fuck this I quit", which is NOT available to soldiers. The police don't even manage to pull off real punishments for malingering or dereliction.

I'd be a lot more sympathetic to their plight if there weren't so darned many ex-cops in their fifties around here pulling down mid six-digit pensions. Soldiers don't get paid like that. Compared to soldiering, the pay is lavish the hours are easy and the dangers are very low.

So, Officer, suck it up, assume the risks of the job you were hired to do (and your union fights tooth and nail to make sure you don't have to do) or quit and find other work. Last I checked, we don't conscript law enforcement.

Plus there's the whole other issue that the people of the communities they are supposed to be serving WANT the cops to run to the gunfire and think about someone besides themselves and their own families.

SiGraybeard · August 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm

The story there is about organizational incompetence more than anything else.

OPD requires a medical review but doesn't have a (contracted) doctor who can do it and apparently isn't even looking for one. That's entirely on OPD for hiring the wrong medical team. They should be required to get a doctor who can do it or drop the requirement.

I can understand why they might want that exam so they don't find out in the next incident that all it took was a shove to do serious brain damage to an officer, but if they don't arrange for someone to do the exam they've put an impossible requirement in place.

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