By David Jones, Restoration Path Ministries
Newtown Police Officers, Traumatized And Not Working, At Risk Of Losing Pay
By MICHAEL MELIA 12/26/12 03:15 PM ET EST
HARTFORD, Conn. — Some of the police officers who responded to the school shooting in Newtown are so traumatized they haven’t been working, but they have to use sick time and could soon be at risk of going without a paycheck, a union official said Wednesday.
The union, Council 15 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is seeking more generous assistance in talks with the town’s insurer. It is also reaching out to lawmakers and the governor’s office with proposals to modify state law and expand workers’ compensation benefits for officers who witness horrific crime scenes.
“The insurer for the town has taken a position that these officers are entitled to only what the statute allows. Unfortunately for these officers, the statute doesn’t allow any benefits,” said Eric Brown, an attorney for the union, which represents nearly 4,000 officers around Connecticut.
There are very few people on this planet that can relate to what the police officers and first responders had to experience when they entered the Sandy Hook school on December 14th. These professionals are trained to deal with traumatic events with professionalism and an emotional disconnect. It is different when that trauma includes the loss of children’s lives. As the weeks have passed, we have gained even more information regarding about how these children died. We don’t even want to imagine the images that are now implanted into the minds of these first responders. According to the article above, many of these men and women are unable to work because of the traumatic effect. We now learn that they may be re-traumatized through loss of income. The insurer of the town’s policy stands by a statute that doesn’t allow for any extra benefits for officers that have been traumatized. I would imagine this statute has been in place for quite awhile and the once quiet city of Newtown never thought it would ever be an issue.
The Bible contains many statutes. 10 of them are listed under the “thou shalt not” category. There are other statutes or commands listed in both the Old and New Testament that keep us on a path of obedience and safety. We have all broken most if not all of these statutes.
Romans 3:23-24 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,(NKJV)
When His statutes are broken, trauma occurs. Our relationship with God, self, and others is traumatized or wounded. Redemption or healing occurs through the works of Christ Jesus. He bore the trauma and the consequences of our sins through His love and grace. Just because we become a Christian doesn’t mean we stop rebelling or sinning against His statutes. Many people carry the traumas of past sins and believe they have exceeded God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. The guilt and shame keeps them in a place of disconnect from God and others. This disconnect re-traumatizes the person each time they are reminded of this past event. As mentioned before, very few of us can understand the trauma of the first responders from Newtown. We do, thankfully, have a Savior who does understand the effects of our sins. You don’t have to re-traumatize yourself by carrying these burdens. Will you trust in the sufficiency of His Grace today?
Restoration Path is a Christian discipleship ministry that exists to restore those trapped in sexual and relational sin through the power of Jesus Christ. Through our online workshop, individual biblical counseling, and custom intensive programs, we seek to empower men and women to embrace their identity in Christ.