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17th injury claim in 12 years got Chicago cop her disability deal

Ednalyn Hansen has been duty disability because she injured index finger her non-shooting hwhile  handcuffing suspect four years ago.

Ednalyn Hansen has been on duty disability because she injured the index finger of her non-shooting hand while handcuffing a suspect four years ago. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 18, 2012 6:04AM

A Chicago cop with a history of claims of on-the-job injuries spanning a dozen years has collected more than $245,000 in disability pay because of a laceration to her left index finger.

Officer Ednalyn Hansen is right-handed.

A doctor who examined her for the city’s cash-strapped police pension fund in 2008 thought she was OK to return to work. Dr. Michael I. Vender said Hansen met the police department’s criteria to return to work: She could walk without assistance and protect her weapon.

“While there is some loss of grip strength and lifting ability,” Vender wrote to the pension board, “. . . Ms. Hansen is right-hand dominant. She fires her weapon with her right hand.”

Vender added that, despite Hansen’s claim to the contrary, it was “not clear why she would be unable to utilize her weapon.”

Hansen, 54, started with the Chicago Police Department on Aug. 7, 1995, at 37 years old.

Over the next 12 years, she filed 17 reports claiming on-the-job injuries.

The one that ended with her leaving the department for good stemmed from a Feb. 18, 2007, mishap. Hansen reported that she had cut her left index finger on a pair of handcuffs she was trying to place on a crime suspect.

The wound became infected and didn’t heal properly, requiring surgery three months later, according to medical records filed with the pension board.

She’s been off work ever since, though the police department does have limited-duty desk jobs for officers who have been hurt but can work.

In one case cited in an earlier Chicago Sun-Times report, an officer who was shot in the spine in Jefferson Park 24 years ago spent months learning how to walk again and came back in a limited-duty job as a neighborhood-relations officer. He now works as a field technology officer at the police academy.

Hansen, who was making $70,656 a year as a police officer, now gets $57,319 a year, tax-free, on disability.

She did not respond to interview requests.

She got reports from her doctor, Richard Makowiec, in 2009 and 2010 saying she remained “incapable” of firing a firearm.

“She has clumsiness in handling her clip and placing it back into the weapon,” Makowiec, whose office is in Warrenville, said in the 2009 report. “She also demonstrated difficulty supporting the weapon with her left hand in a two-handed grip.”

Long before joining the police department, Hansen filed her first claim of a work-related injury in 1979, when she was 20 years old and working for Bankers Life & Casualty. She filed a worker’s compensation claim, saying she fell down the stairs at work on Jan. 10, 1979, injuring her left knee, and got a settlement of $31,532, records show.

She sued City Hall seven years later, in 1986, saying she tripped and fell in a parkway that city crews had been repairing in front of the Roscoe Village apartment building where she lives. Hansen said she hurt her right hand and her right knee. The case was settled, but city officials can’t find any records to show what, if anything, Hansen was paid.

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