Starting tomorrow the Chicago Sun-Times starts their series on Chicago Firefighters on Duty Disability.....
The Chicago SunTimes has committed itself to publishing a series of articles that do nothing more than disparage Disabled Chicago Police Officers. Any Chicago Police Officer whether active, retired, or disabled should be outraged that the author of these articles paints everyone with the same broad brush strokes. Please take a moment to read President Shields' Letter to the SunTimes Editor.
July 16, 2012
I want to convey my disappointment after reading the Chicago Sun-Times’ misleading portrayal of disabled officers. I do not believe that the scope of the Freedom of Information Act was intended for newspapers to publish officer’s personal medical symptoms. Are you aware that Chicago Police injured on duty are forbidden from filing a worker’s compensation claim? There are never any cash payouts or settlements for these officers. That is why we have the Pension Code. This saves the City of Chicago from participating in an expensive workman’s comp litigation.
Furthermore, it is easy to isolate several unusual cases involving officers that perhaps did not work long enough for the City to satisfy your reporters. But they would certainly be uninterested in an officer entering a residence on a search warrant who is smashed in the face by an assailant with a two by four. Or how about a female officer who was on foot and struck by a drunk driver, shattering both of her knees? She has had over 30 surgeries. The FOP has won two grievance arbitrations against the City for this catastrophically injured officer just to make certain she got the medical care she deserves. Will these stories ever make the media?
Chicago Police Officers are proud people that have some of the toughest jobs around. They run toward shootings, robberies and all sorts of assorted mayhem on the streets of Chicago. Tragically, some of them are injured and cannot return. Casting these officers in a negative light without really examining whether their disabilities are legitimate demeans disabled officers. And as a group, they certainly deserve better.
Michael K. Shields
Fraternal Order of Police