Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, July 10, 2020
Big-city police forces are being depopulated rapidly, so much so that the announced goal of defunding them may be almost beside the point. As was widely reported yesterday, retirement applications from New York City police have surged 411% compared to a year ago, overloading the bureaucrats who process the requests.
But a new wrinkle is developing in Minneapolis, where about 18% of the city’s police force are beginning the process of applying for disability benefits. The Minnesota law firm Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, a specialist in workplace disability issues, has just announced:
Attorney Ron Meuser, Jr. of the law firm Meuser, Yackley, and Rowland P.A. has represented thousands of individuals with their workplace disability and injury claims and specializes in supporting public employees and law enforcement officers eligible for PERA benefits due to physical and mental disabilities, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Today Meuser issued the following statement:
“In the last six weeks, over 150 police officers have started the process of filing physical and mental disability claims, the majority of which encompass officers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is an astronomical number of people given there are approximately 850 officers within the Minneapolis Police Department.
“While law enforcement is a high-stress career, the last two months in Minneapolis have pushed many officers to their breaking point.
“Many of the officers I represent were at the 3rd Precinct the day and night it was abandoned. Officers were taking such extreme steps as writing final notes and texts to loved ones – fearful they wouldn’t make it home, and some saying they felt they needed reserve their last bullet rather than being beaten to death. They were left alone in the 3rd Precinct without support from city leaders. Officers worked 12-hour-plus shifts for days upon days, without relief or clear leadership.
“I’m seeing PTSD symptoms of officers with highly diminished capacity to live and socialize, extraordinary rates of divorce, and alcohol dependency – just to cope. It is an emotional crisis that cannot and should not continue.”
“The men and women in public safety who give their heart and soul to serve Minneapolis and keep it safe deserve to have Minneapolis leaders to step up and supporting them. Instead of spending time plotting the dismantling of the force, let’s come together to improve community trust and work towards a safer city for all.”
The still rising crescendo of abuse facing police officers could very well result in many more disability claims across the nation.
Depending on the years of service, retired police officers in many cities, including New York, can receive substantial retirement income. Disability payments can also reach a substantial sum, so the police budgets may end up being spent on costs that do not provide for active duty cops, further draining the remaining resources available for working cops.
Fewer cops means more crime. It’s not complicated.