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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:56 PM

Some officers at Newtown so traumatized they are not working.

Need we say more?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/26/newtown-police-officers-time-off-paycheck_n_2366489.html

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....more

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Reply Some officers at Newtown so traumatized they are not working. (Original post)
Skidmore Feb 2013 OP
Marrah_G Feb 2013 #1
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #2
bettyellen Feb 2013 #4
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #8
cliffordu Feb 2013 #11
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #25
cliffordu Feb 2013 #26
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #27
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #18
lunatica Feb 2013 #29
BanzaiBonnie Feb 2013 #31
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #3
DollarBillHines Feb 2013 #10
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #13
madokie Feb 2013 #5
joeybee12 Feb 2013 #6
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #7
Turbineguy Feb 2013 #9
MrSlayer Feb 2013 #12
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #14
MrSlayer Feb 2013 #15
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #16
MrSlayer Feb 2013 #17
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #20
MrSlayer Feb 2013 #21
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #23
MrSlayer Feb 2013 #28
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #30
tpsbmam Feb 2013 #19
winter is coming Feb 2013 #22
GobBluth Feb 2013 #24

Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:58 PM

1. They should be able to file for disability

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:00 PM

2. I would imagine having been at that scene

would have been awful. I suppose they must have developed a fear that the same kind of thing will happen again.
If that isn't it then I don't see why staying at home would be any better than going back to work.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:21 PM

4. if you have PSTD, you might feel your reactions to stressful things might be different.

It's a concern. My brother worked through 9/11 and I don't think he's ever been quite the same.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:33 PM

8. There's a lot more to it than fear of recurrence

Just being back on the job can bring back the horrible images they can't bear seeing again. And the anxiety over that, alone, can render them unable to walk out the door to go to work. Besides the overwhelming grief they still have to deal with.

With therapy, some may be able to go back to the job. Some may never be able to return...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:43 PM

11. What you said.

Perfect.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:54 AM

25. Hi 5, Bro

I always opposed the notion that "you had to be there" to understand it. What would be the point of novels, poetry, painting, sculpture, etc.?

But being there sure could enlarge and deepen your understanding.



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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:03 AM

26. "But being there sure could enlarge and deepen your understanding. "

No fucking shit.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:12 AM

27. I used to say, on speaking visits to colleges and high schools...

...that you didn't have to go to Vietnam to find your compassion--but it sure as hell could add a lot of depth...

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:38 PM

18. The squad car can bring it back

Seeing a small child going to school, ditto

A smell...

PTSD is really hard to explain, and I am not surprised one iota.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:56 AM

29. A child's drawing could open the floodgates

I don't think too many of these first responders will go back to work. They probably had some idea of making the world a safer place in their jobs before this happened.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:58 PM

31. I'm guessing you have very little understanding about PTSD

It's not about simple fear.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:09 PM

3. No wonder those poor guys are traumatized. God love them. Imagine to see such horror

 

and it sticks with you for life. Now you can understand why our soldiers are coming home so traumatized. You never expect to see children and teachers with several bullet holes.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:40 PM

10. No amount of training or conditioning can prepare you for that.

And your point is spot-on.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:13 PM

13. There are some jobs are just not worth it. They deserve all the pay they can get.

 

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:24 PM

5. I know I couldn't get over it

just so a few can have their war machine toys

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:27 PM

6. I don't think it's something I ever would get over had I been there...

Never.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:32 PM

7. I wasn't even there and I felt some trauma...

Everyone who read about it saw it on the news probably felt some kind of trauma. I had a nightmare about it as well. Actually seeing it, I don't think I would ever get right in the head after that. I would imagine the people that had to work the crime scene and perform autopsies and things of that nature had some trauma as well. And I am sure many people in the town that weren't directly involved are having some issues.

I think they should be able to collect disability and anyone else that was directly involved as well. I really don't want spooked police officers working the streets, it could lead to other tragedies and problems.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:03 PM

9. In the new NRA Paradise we live in

you just aren't qualified to be a cop if you are bothered by the sight of children being shot to pieces.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:49 PM

12. Sadly, horror scenes are part of the job.

 

And many people discover they aren't cut out for it after witnessing them. Police work is not a job just anyone can do. The tough part of it is that many of those that can stomach the worst of it also have no problem with dishing it out.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:00 PM

14. I have seen and participated in some absolutely horrific incidents

 

Not going to going into it here, but I have seen some shit that blowtorched my soul, I've seen shit so horrific that the officer standing next to me literally had a nervous breakdown on the fucking spot and had to be led away -- never to return.

But I have never seen, and never want to see, anything as horrific as what these officers experienced.

Officers know going in that they are going to experience horror. But that doesn't mean they are on their own, any more than a soldier is on his own when he suffers a mental or physical injury during combat.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:08 PM

15. I know, it's just a tough gig.

 

My dad was a Philly cop for 30 years, he was a photographer for AID before that and a Vietnam veteran. He's one of those guys that can just deal with it. I've seen some of the pictures he took as an AID officer and I couldn't imagine being that close to carnage myself but it never bothered him, he never brought it home with him and it didn't damage him. Some people can handle these things better than others.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:29 PM

16. Unddoubtedly. I guess I was one of those who could "handle it"

 

If you want to call it that.

There's a price. Your dad paid it. Even if he never allowed you to see, he paid it. And sometimes the bill is too high, sometimes it comes due all at once. And I damn sure wont sit in judgement of an officer for whom this was too much.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:33 PM

17. Agreed.

 

A scene like that would be hard for even the most jaded guy in the world. I hope the officers affected find some peace.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:21 AM

20. The notion that some people just "aren't cut out for it" is bogus

It's part of the wrong-headed view of PTSD as some kind of character flaw. It's contradicted by the fact that strong men (and women), doing heroic jobs, are affected by PTSD.

At a professional conference on PTSD I heard a psychologist say that you have to be "a pretty good person" to be affected by PTSD. Those who were unaffected, he said, tended to be sociopaths and psychopaths.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:41 AM

21. I don't think that it is.

 

I'm not saying it makes you weak to not be able to handle such things, it just makes you different than people that can. I liken it to the fight or run wiring people have. Some people are ready to fight when shit goes down, others run.

I'm sorry but a total pacifist can never be a good cop. Nor can someone that blanches at the sight of blood. It really does take a certain type of person to be a cop or say, a sniper. Conversely, people that are great in authoritarian positions would probably suck as therapists or day care supervisors.

Everyone is different and different people handle different stresses in different ways.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:07 AM

23. That's contrary to the prevailing view of PTSD as a NORMAL human reaction to traumatic events

Something that can affect anyone, not just those who aren't "hard-core." It has nothing to do with "certain types" of persons.

Have you personally experienced PTSD? Are you a mental health professional?

There is a wealth of data that absolutely contradicts the notion that there is a class of "hard-core" people that is immune.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:51 AM

28. I'm sure it is.

 

No, I've not personally experienced PTSD nor am I a mental health professional. But life's experience tells me things that are contrary to what these studies say.

I don't know that there are any absolutes here.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:32 PM

30. I am not educated in this field (PTSD), and it appears that you are.

I was wondering if you knew whether or not the lack of control (or having one's face shoved in the lack of control) makes PTSD worse?

I am thinking that first responders and such are people who truly *want* to make a positive difference in the world, and I would think that being confronted with the fact that sometimes your "best isn't going to be enough" (especially when dealing with horrific man created tragic situations) would be a terrifying and almost paralyzing attack on a person who believes that running *into* the building when it is on fire (for example) to save others is going to make a positive difference ... ?

Not sure if I am making sense - my respect for these people is tremendous. I keep picturing being "helpless" in the face of horrific man-made tragedy, and wonder if that makes it worse? And do you know if there is any research on trauma levels being different if the cause is "natural" versus "man-made"? (I am thinking about children's responses to "abandonment" via death versus divorce, where studies show that death is less traumatizing.)

If so, would they benefit from activities where they start to feel like they have control again?

Again, I am not educated in this field, and mean no offense. I would like to understand more, please?

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:59 PM

19. These are children of neighbors, friends, acquaintances....aside from the horrific scene alone....

My heart goes out to the cops who responded. When I listen to the testimony of the parents whose children were killed as some of them describe the shots to their children, the trauma of seeing children and the adults who tried to protect them riddled with bullet holes is bound to have a profound effect on most people involved. It had a profound effect on lots of us from a distance....I can't even put myself in their shoes....they need all the help they can get. And deserve it.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:45 AM

22. Tragic, but not surprising.

I once went on a reading jag where I read a lot of true crime books in a fairly short period of time. Reading so many of the stories, virtually back to back, really brought home how much damage some people do--not just to their purported victims, but to the victim's families, their own families, and often the people investigating/prosecuting the crime and their families.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:46 AM

24. I expected nothing less

Just can't imagine and don't want to try. Just the pictures of these beautiful children and teachers can make me bawl, and these are just pictures of them smiling and happy. Not what these cops saw at all. Gonna go crawl into bed with one of my 3 kids and snuggle.

I would hope no one is "cut out for this". If they are, not sure if I would want them to be cops.

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