Newtown, Connecticut police officer, Thomas Bean was a first responder at the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that took place in December of 2012. It was his day off. Recently, Bean was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after going through an incredibly tough time following his encounter with the scene at Sandy Hook. “That day killed me inside,” he stated, “Nothing could prepare you for that.” Bean recalled walking into a grocery store recently and feeling scared that anyone could kill him at any moment. He also reported that he almost cut himself with a razor because he wanted to “feel something.”
Now, the Newtown Police Department is seriously considering terminating Bean for his condition and will only be able to provide him with two years of long-term disability when he still had twelve years until retirement. The state of Connecticut is one of the few states that only offers mental health care to those with an accompanying physical injury for long-term disability claims. The union that supports Newtown police officers is now threatening to file a lawsuit.
“If I had my arm chopped off, they would say, ‘Oh yeah, he’s hurt.’ But instead they’re like, ‘We can sweep this under the rug and not necessarily have to pay because… it’s not physically seen.’” Joe Aresimowicz, the house majority leader in the state General Assembly commented, saying, “The last thing you want is a first responder getting ready to enter a situation and have them think, ‘I wonder what long-term harm this will do to me.’” This thought process could potentially have drastic consequences on the integrity of the police force, and it is certainly an issue that should not be taken lightly.