Disabled police officers deserve better
Letters to the Editor July 16, 2012 6:22PM
Andy Hernandez (left) and Allison Culver argue about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s tough 2010 immigration law on June 25 in in Phoenix, Ariz. | Patrick Breen~AP
Updated: August 18, 2012 6:07AM
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 workers 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 workers 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? Doubtful.
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, president
Fraternal Order of Police
Leave cops on disability alone
After reading the article about the Chicago Police officers on disability, I was shocked.
I thought there would be more to the story. To be a law enforcement officer is to work a demanding job, and the inability to do that job 100 percent easily could result in you or somebody else being murdered by those who are always looking to kill police officers.
The fact that these individuals do not want to be placed on limited duty speaks to the fact that they are police officers and not desk jockeys.
It would be no different than reporters Tim Novak and Chris Fusco being injured and then told they could work as receptionists. Every pension system has stipulations for workers who have become disabled and cannot perform the job they were hired for. That doesn’t mean they can’t physically work, just that they cannot perform the job they were hired to do.
A disabled police officer has to be certified as disabled by a doctor. If there is fraud, as you suggest, start with the doctors and leave the wounded warriors alone.
Joseph Jones, Midlothian
Arizona vs. Chicago
Another writer recently argued that Chicago should emulate Arizona’s anti-Hispanic laws if we want to create jobs for citizens. I guess the writer failed to notice that Arizona has a 8.6 percent unemployment rate — worse than the national average and only marginally better than Illinois’ 8.8 percent rate. The difference is that in Chicago we treat people as human beings.
Barry Aldridge, Lincoln Park
What Chicago teachers really want
This past year has been a steady attack on teachers in Chicago. We teachers have been called lazy and greedy and accused of not caring about the kids by everyone from the mayor to the schools’ CEO and in radio ads being funded by organizations not from Illinois.
All that is being reported in the news is that we teachers want a 30 percent raise, but it is rarely if ever mentioned that we want smaller class sizes, art, music, physical education, counselors, world languages and librarians, which are all good for kids.
CPS says it has no money to pay for such things, yet CPS is giving over $100 million to charter schools and the Academy for Urban School Leadership, which are private entities funded also in large part by additional non-public funds.
Teachers are fed up of being told what to do, by an appointed school board with no educational experience. So is it surprising that teachers will likely vote against the arbitrator’s findings?
David Stieber, Hyde Park
Penn State football revenues should compensate victims
Rather than suspend its football program, thus punishing only current players rather than the perpetrators of the sex abuse or cover-up, Penn State ought to pledge 100 percent of the revenues from its football program to a fund to compensate victims and promote awareness/prevention of this sort of tragedy.
Since the cover-up was about protecting the value of the PSU football “brand,” this would both leverage and restore its value.
Hall Adams III, Wilmette