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"Modified" Duty for psychiatric reasons?

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  • "Modified" Duty for psychiatric reasons?

    I'm writing a scene where a detective is placed on restricted (modified?) duty after an incident caused by his (untreated) PTSD.

    He has a nightmare/flashback in the middle of the night, gets his off-duty weapon out of the safe because he thinks he needs to protect his family. He doesn't use the gun, but his C.O. puts him on 30 days leave. Would this be called restricted duty, modified duty? Is 30 days too short a period? (My character will be getting mandatory psychological help while on leave.)

  • #2
    How does his supervisor even know about it? His supervisor or commander will not have the authority to impose that on him. It takes a lot of work to put someone on restricted duty or leave for a fitness for duty evaluation. At a minimum, the chief of police, the union, and the director of HR are all going to be involved. Restricted duty means you work with restrictions. Leave means you don't work.

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    • #3
      Police personnel lack the medical expertise and training necessary to evaluate an officer's fitness for duty, so no one is going to be suspended or put on modified duty without first having them under go a fitness for duty exam by a medical professional.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        We call it Administrative leave, usually with pay. He would not be allowed to work.

        If he is suspected of criminal activity then he might be "suspended", usually without pay.

        Either one is at the direction of the Chief or Sheriff.

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        • #5
          Got his off-duty gun out of the safe? What's up with that? I keep several guns in my gun safe, but my carry piece is always within an arm's length, loaded, and ready to use.

          But that's just me. I'm sure all the nice modern cops check their guns in at the front desk before they leave the station at the end of their shifts, right?

          Undiagnosed PTSD? Sounds serious! Two tours in Vietnam (airborne infantry) and 24 years as a cop, never caught any of that PTSD stuff (unless it was undiagnosed, of course). As others have already pointed out, you are talking about a recognized mental health disorder that would require competent medical diagnosis, not some bozo supervisor's discretionary judgement.

          Lots of "unlikely" in your hypothesis.

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          • #6
            If the person was acing out of sorts, I could see his wife contacting a private counselor. LEOs are notorious for not trusting 'employee assistance' at least in my dept. It's possible the counselor could sign off on FMLA for the officer to give him a break. This lasts 12 wks and, here, he would have to use his sick time, vacation time, comp time or go unpaid. No shame in that. I'd rather see someone do that than see them in a box in the ground after eating his gun or drinking himself to death.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by retired1995 View Post
              Got his off-duty gun out of the safe? What's up with that? I keep several guns in my gun safe, but my carry piece is always within an arm's length, loaded, and ready to use.
              Yeah, that caught my eye too...

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              • #8
                Maybe it's one of those little pistol safes, the kind with a combo lock, or even a fingerprint scanner, that some people keep on their bed stand.

                Just saying.
                Days become weeks become months become years.

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                • #9
                  It’s a........BOOK! He can write what he wants. It’s not reality.
                  Now go home and get your shine box!

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                  • #10
                    Getting back to the OP and his book:

                    The protagonist has a bad dream due to PTSD, get's his gun out of the little pistol safe, doesn't use it, and gets put on 30 days leave? I don't get why he would get put on leave... if nothing happened....

                    Getting back to reality: I am familiar with a few scenarios, and they all played out differently. Most keep working while getting treatment. Over time, some were let go. Some quit. Some worked through it, did therapy, went on medication, etc.

                    Two stand out. One guy got beat up pretty bad- head injury- and developed a neurological disorder where he kept forgetting where he put his gun. He walked away at age 35 from a big city PD with full medical retirement, moved to the middle of nowhere, spent a year drinking a fifth of vodka a day, got sober, became a prepper, lived for years in a bomb shelter (literally) he built in the woods believing nuclear armegeddon was pending, eventually inherited a pile of money, and the last I heard got divorced from his wife of many years and recently married a woman 30 years younger than him.

                    The second guy had what can only be called a psychotic episode. I'm not going to go into full details on this because it's still being sorted out, but basically he shot up his house believing he was under attack by a criminal element. This incident occurred after an extended period of no sleep (40 hours), and I saw the damage a couple of weeks after it happened: in a state of absolute madness, he took an AR15 and 12 gauge to his home, blasted holes in walls, in the floor, even in his bathtub. He burned his personal truck to the ground and shot holes in the windows of his work rig (he lives in a rural area so it's not like neighbors were around.) Again, there's more details regarding the background I am not revealing, but the outcome was placement on admin leave, mandatory psychological evaluations (he was diagnosed with manic-depression), and he has not worked since. I predict he will retire early will full pension; that process isn't easy for a reason though, so he's in limbo until it gets approved.
                    Days become weeks become months become years.

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