DART Officers Shot in Dallas Terror Attack Are Forced to Take Pay Cut
DART Officer Retana And Others Shot in Dallas Terror Attack Are Forced to Take Pay Cut.
Three Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers, all hurt in the Black Lives Matter Terrorist shooting in Dallas on July 7th, are experiencing the red tape and short pay often associated with post-shooting bureaucracy. All three, it is reported, are being forced to take a pay cut.
Officer Jesus “Jesse” Retana’s family is bringing the unfair treatment front and center, and seeking financial help. Their recent Go Fund Me web-page is highlighting the fact that Officer Retana, a veteran DART Officer and one of many officers shot in the Dallas mass shooting, is losing pay and medical coverage while he is recovering from his injuries.
According to the family, Officer Retana “will have a long road to recovery requiring physical therapy and many other medical services many not covered by Worker’s Compensation”. On top of the added and unexpected medical bills, Officer Retana is not receiving his full DART pay check. The Go Fund Me page states that he is only receiving 70% of his full duty pay.
Understandably, this may be shocking and outrageous for many readers. How can this hero be short changed? However, this is not new in the police world. Many officers report seeing pay issues, pay-gaps, even pay stoppages after duty injuries leave them in recovery and later – in debt.
One officer in New Jersey, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that he was shot in the line of duty and his worker’s compensation checks were well under his normal pay. The injury led to his retirement where he then went without pay until the NJ pension department was able to review his application – an inexcusable six months after his retirement.
Officers frequently lose their family’s health insurance and pay after on-the-job injuries. Whether they are shot, stabbed, have a broken bone, there’s no protection for officers who are temporarily out of work for their injuries.
Our heroes are putting their lives on the line to protect our communities each and every day. And because of their bravery, Officers are being wounded.
Worker’s compensation was never intended for these warriors. The insurance was created to protect employers from sue-happy workers in a typical civilian work setting where injuries are the results of accidents. In the worker’s comp system, an employee receives limited wage replacement when a work related injury prevents them from fulfilling their job description.
Once the limited coverage (key emphasis on “limited”) is paid by a third party vendor (the insurance company), the employee forfeits his right to sue the employer for any negligence the employer may have had, leading to the injury. This set-up is often called “the compensation bargain” and is mainly a protective measure non-government corporations use to safeguard their bottom line.
The expectation in the civilian setting is that you can work without getting hurt. Your employer will set parameters in place to prevent accidents. But in policing, you are strapping a bullet proof vest against your chest, arming yourself with high-powered weaponry, and walking out of that briefing ready to face whatever wolf is prowling your streets.
You can expect the criminals to fight, and you can expect to get hurt – I know very few officers who are injury free after a few years under their belt.
So why do we allow the litigious nature of our society dictate how we take care of our brave men and women behind the badge? Why do we “bargain” with the pay of our heroes when they are injured protecting our communities?
When an officer is injured at the hands of a violent criminal act, there are few parameters any department can establish to prevent it. These fierce men and women operate outside of normal civilian parameters and, therefore, deserve better.
This drives two issues:
1. We need to equip our officers, tooth and nail, to face the kind of deviant, violent, and murderous behavior that they are facing each day. Holding the line takes weaponry, and returning home takes protective gear. Towns should reach, deep if necessary, to give them both.
2. As the officer confronts that wolf on your streets, he may be wounded. And when he is, don’t treat him like a sue-happy money-hungry low-life – treat him with as the warrior he is and don’t force his family to go without pay or health insurance.
Demand that your towns and cities provide your police with full pay and medical coverage to officers injured defending your streets.
Officer Retana is one of those guys. He deserves better. If you would like to show your support or donate to him, you can do so with the link below: