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  • What to do

    I’ve been a lurker for a long time, so here’s my first post. Looks like my career is coming to an end. I got injured on the job a few years ago and the pain just getting worst and the sad part is that the city wants nothing of it. After an decade of busting my ***** , they are pointing me out the door. I understand that when you leave a profession on your own it’s easier but when someone forces you out, it’s another story. I’ve been so depress, that I don’t know what to do anymore. Just wondering how some of you guys overcome the depression and what career path did you guys take. I know for an injury like mine and the kind of restrictions I’m on, my list of jobs is on the short side.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MNvikings View Post
    I’ve been a lurker for a long time, so here’s my first post. Looks like my career is coming to an end. I got injured on the job a few years ago and the pain just getting worst and the sad part is that the city wants nothing of it. After an decade of busting my ***** , they are pointing me out the door. I understand that when you leave a profession on your own it’s easier but when someone forces you out, it’s another story. I’ve been so depress, that I don’t know what to do anymore. Just wondering how some of you guys overcome the depression and what career path did you guys take. I know for an injury like mine and the kind of restrictions I’m on, my list of jobs is on the short side.
    For all the rookies on the job, I can't stress what I'm about to say enough....take advantage of any tuition reimbursement available and continue your education.

    All pun intended.
    Gov Blagojevich - "I'am the American dream...."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MNvikings View Post
      I’ve been a lurker for a long time, so here’s my first post. Looks like my career is coming to an end. I got injured on the job a few years ago and the pain just getting worst and the sad part is that the city wants nothing of it. After an decade of busting my ***** , they are pointing me out the door. I understand that when you leave a profession on your own it’s easier but when someone forces you out, it’s another story. I’ve been so depress, that I don’t know what to do anymore. Just wondering how some of you guys overcome the depression and what career path did you guys take. I know for an injury like mine and the kind of restrictions I’m on, my list of jobs is on the short side.
      Brother, I notice that you misspelled a couple of words that an officer of your tenure would not normally misspell- are you taking pain medication and/or drinking? You don't have to answer, but I'm concerned about you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, I’m on quite a few pain meds.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, I guess it’s time to lawyer up. Coworkers been telling me to lawyer up but I didn’t want to take a chance to loose my job.

          Comment


          • #6
            Time to consult with an attorney in your state specializing in workers compensation and work-related injuries. Also a good idea to locate and keep every document and medical history report (doctors, hospitals, clinics, physical therapists, everything).

            Comment


            • #7
              If you’re medically unable to continue, you should get some sort of medical retirement.

              Also keep in mind that no matter how bleak things look now, they may improve with time. I don’t know what your injury is but let me give you my story.

              I had to medically retire from the US Army in 2006. I was in an accident that fractured my spine and damaged my pancreas. When all was said and done I had a 2 level spine fusion, lost about 50% of the strength and feeling in my lower legs and feet and was a Type 1 diabetic.

              I had to learn how to cope with the limitations I had and find ways to get myself mentally and physically back in fighting shape, but in 2013 at age 42 became a sheriffs deputy and at age 43 attended the police academy.

              There are many secondary law enforcement jobs out there, depending on your area: bailiff, inmate transport, insurance investigator, etc.

              I wish you luck, thinks are never as bad as they seem.
              "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

              "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

              Comment


              • #8
                EAP. Use it.
                Get attorney.
                Now go home and get your shine box!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MNvikings View Post
                  Yes, I’m on quite a few pain meds.
                  Buddy, the others are addressing the rest of this issue, but the pain meds are a very slippery slope.

                  Driving is probably out of the question for you, because of the risk of a DUI, and a DUI would really complicate your situation.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MNvikings View Post
                    I’ve been a lurker for a long time, so here’s my first post. Looks like my career is coming to an end. I got injured on the job a few years ago and the pain just getting worst and the sad part is that the city wants nothing of it. After an decade of busting my ***** , they are pointing me out the door. I understand that when you leave a profession on your own it’s easier but when someone forces you out, it’s another story. I’ve been so depress, that I don’t know what to do anymore. Just wondering how some of you guys overcome the depression and what career path did you guys take. I know for an injury like mine and the kind of restrictions I’m on, my list of jobs is on the short side.
                    OK, if you have been dipping into the pain meds, call your wife over to the computer screen, have her read this and ask her to tell you what it says after the fog from the meds wears off.

                    It's not that your department has become the enemy here. Instead, it's that their hands are now tied.

                    If your medical condition has become such that your are permanently unable to perform the critical physical tasks of you position, they can't keep you. Over the years, a number of officers will find themselves in your situation and if they create limited duty positions for every disabled officer, eventually they will wind up with a department full of cops who are unfit for dull duty in an emergency. One major PD in Southern California used to find a spot for injured on duty officers, no matter how bad their disability, until they were so overwhelmed with disabled cops that in a major disaster, they found they could not respond properly. They immediately discontinued the practice.

                    In a situation like yours, you usually have several choices:

                    1. Take a disability retirement

                    2. Transfer to a non-police job within your city/county government that is within your limitations

                    3. Demote to a non-police job within your own agency that is within your limitations

                    4. Resign and walk away with nothing

                    5. Apply for vocational rehabilitation and when completed, take one of the above choices.

                    For legal reasons, your department cannot tell (or evenly remotely suggest) which choice you should make. That's because, if what ever choice doesn't meet your expectations, they don't want to take the blame for it. The decision rests with you and you alone.

                    So, let's talk about these choices. Disability retirement is probably the best option. In most cases, it gives you lifetime monthly check, a portion of which (if not all) will be tax free. You also have the ability to go out and take a second job in the private sector to supplement that retirement check, subject to whatever limitations are imposed by your retirement system. In the end, you should wind up making more than you are now, will have a lot more freedom, a lot less stress and more time for family. (Your wife is smiling now if she is reading this.)

                    Demoting or transferring to a non-police job in government is not a good idea. First, these are going to be much lower paying jobs, the salaries for which will probable be less than your tax free pension. The new, lower salary will be taxable and the job will probably come with less benefits than you have in retirement. If it turns out you don't like your new job, you can't turn around and file for police disability retirement because you are no longer disabled for your new, non-police job.

                    Resigning and walking away with nothing - well, there's no point in even talking about that.

                    If your agency offers Vocational Rehabilitation you should look into it. In some states, it extends your disability pay prior to retirement while you go to school to learn a new trade before you retire. They usually pay your tuition while you learn something useful. Some of my guys have gone to locksmith school, polygraph school, real estate school. and one even went to cooking school to learn to be a master chef.

                    Now, as far as an attorney is concerned - YES, YOU NEED ONE! It not so much that this is an adversarial process but instead, navigating workers compensation issues and disability retirement is not a do it yourself process and not for the faint of heart. When I went out on a disability retirement, I filed the papers myself rather than pay my attorney to do it. There were two glitches I missed that delayed approval of my disability pension for almost 18 months. That would not have happened had I used the attorney.

                    We all know criminal, narcotics and evidence laws inside and out, but workers comp and disability issues involve obscure laws and court decisions we never dreamed about. Get an attorney. You can't afford not to. Talk to your POA or DSA president and ask who is the best for these issues. If they can't recommend anyone, go to the heads of the largest POA & DSA in your area and ask them.

                    Last edited by L-1; 02-23-2020, 05:38 PM.
                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                    • #11
                      At this point, I’m not ready to leave the job. I spoke to an attorney who said the Doc has not put me down that I had reach my MMI so there’s still a chance of me returning back to patrol. I’ll probably have to give in and do the back surgery that’s been bothering me for the last couple of years. So have any of you guys been cut open for back surgery and was able to return to full patrol duty? Thanks for all the guys that had chime in.

                      Comment


                      • Aidokea
                        Aidokea commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I had spinal surgery (C5/C6/C7 fused and plated) and not only returned to full duty, I even passed all the tests to join our SWAT team.

                    • #12
                      Originally posted by MNvikings View Post
                      At this point, I’m not ready to leave the job. I spoke to an attorney who said the Doc has not put me down that I had reach my MMI so there’s still a chance of me returning back to patrol. I’ll probably have to give in and do the back surgery that’s been bothering me for the last couple of years. So have any of you guys been cut open for back surgery and was able to return to full patrol duty? Thanks for all the guys that had chime in.
                      I had an L4-S1 fusion, and I was hired and attended the academy after.
                      "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                      "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Is your union, guild or association whatever you have doing anything for you? Do you belong to the FOP? If it is not too late join and look into the FOP Legal Defense as well. I hope stuff works out for you.
                        You miss every shot you don't take.

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                        • #14
                          At this time my attorney advised me to stay off social media. But anyways we do have a Union and the Union wants nothing to do with my injury. My Union rep said it’s a “civil” matter and for me to consult with an attorney. With the virus crap going on, my surgery got postponed. Also my captain called me up and suggested for me to apply for my medical retirement. He said it’s better to be safe than to have to scramble at the end and wait months for the medical to be approve. Decisions decisions decisions..... anyways thanks for all the replies.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by MNvikings View Post
                            At this time my attorney advised me to stay off social media. But anyways we do have a Union and the Union wants nothing to do with my injury. My Union rep said it’s a “civil” matter and for me to consult with an attorney. With the virus crap going on, my surgery got postponed. Also my captain called me up and suggested for me to apply for my medical retirement. He said it’s better to be safe than to have to scramble at the end and wait months for the medical to be approve. Decisions decisions decisions..... anyways thanks for all the replies.
                            Another reason I hate unions! The times they could do something meaningful they don't. The bastards could at least give you some suggestions, referrals or something for all the dues you paid over the years.

                            ​​​​​​The others already offered some excellent suggestions. Only thing I can suggest for feeling depressed is a hobby, a good comedy to laugh at and or hunting or fishing.
                            Good luck.

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