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Pyekett
08-17-2012, 04:43 AM
Informed experience particularly welcome, but I accept advice from all comers and am profligate with rep points. Bring it on.

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I need to know what sort of circumstances could lead to possible early retirement or medical discharge from duty (likely not the right words--correct at will) for a West coast police officer. Specifically, can I set up some kind of background like this for a guy in his late forties?

1. I want an injury, maybe a bullet to the knee or shoulder, that could garner a desk job (which he wouldn't take).

2. If he is offered a desk job for medical reasons but refuses it, is there likely to be any early retirement or pension options? I expect about 20-25 yrs service under his belt. I can work with little to no financial support if he leaves the job entirely, but I just need to know what the reasonable range of outcomes is.

3. There is likely to be a shadow over the incident, with him having being cleared on internal investigation for a death but with that sort of rumorish business hanging over him. Could that make a difference politically in how fast or how much he is encouraged to leave, or would it be straight by the book?

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Y'all are gorgeous, insightful, and the very essence of charitable.

Melina
08-17-2012, 04:58 AM
Informed experience particularly welcome, but I accept advice from all comers and am profligate with rep points. Bring it on.

*

I need to know what sort of circumstances could lead to possible early retirement or medical discharge from duty (likely not the right words--correct at will) for a West coast police officer. Specifically, can I set up some kind of background like this for a guy in his late forties?

1. I want an injury, maybe a bullet to the knee or shoulder, that could garner a desk job (which he wouldn't take).

2. If he is offered a desk job for medical reasons but refuses it, is there likely to be any early retirement or pension options? I expect about 20-25 yrs service under his belt. I can work with little to no financial support if he leaves the job entirely, but I just need to know what the reasonable range of outcomes is.

3. There is likely to be a shadow over the incident, with him having being cleared on internal investigation for a death but with that sort of rumorish business hanging over him. Could that make a difference politically in how fast or how much he is encouraged to leave, or would it be straight by the book?

*

Y'all are gorgeous, insightful, and the very essence of charitable.

1) There is such a thing as medical retirement. In California, the criteria has become somewhat more stringent in the past 5-10 years, but a knee injury is a realistic reason to go out on medical, especially if he's had surgery for it.

2) Some departments don't have "light duty". If the department in your story does, it is plausible that your character is not qualified to do a desk job because of computer illiteracy. Not sure what impact a refusal of a desk job would have on his ability to qualify for medical retirement.

3) Yes. I know of someone to whom this happened. There was some controversy, and he was offered medical retirement to spare himself and the department the possible scandal and litigation.

Pyekett
08-17-2012, 05:01 AM
Melina, you are a saint among writers. This helps tremendously.

It doesn't have to be perfect, but I would like to avoid clueless. Thanks!

Raventongue
08-17-2012, 05:25 AM
Not sure whether this will be of any help to you, but a neighbour of mine can no longer work as a police officer due to her partial hearing loss. I've never asked what it was caused by, but it was gradual, though your characters' wouldn't have to be. She wears a hearing aid and never mumbles nor has to ask people to repeat things, but apparently rules are rules.

Firing a gun in the line of duty even once is hard on the ears, though maybe not at permanent damage levels. Repeated practice on a firing range without adequate hearing protection WILL damage your hearing permanently in a very short span of time. It's also way common in people who've been in the army, who sometimes eschew earplugs in combat so that they can hear orders (among other reasons).

Now, you can probably tell that that isn't very likely to have a shadow hanging over it. Lol. But I figured I'd throw it out there just in case.

jmare
08-17-2012, 05:26 AM
Well, from personal experience, my father was seriously injured in a car accident and had back and knee problems. He was put on a desk, but got medically retired because he didn't want to be at a desk. It took a while, but he did it. This was LAPD and about 5-6 years ago. So it's possible for an injury to get an officer to a medical retirement.

Pyekett
08-17-2012, 05:34 AM
How kind of you to take the time for this, Raventongue and jmare. I will put it to good use.

Many thanks.

Added: I don't know how much background will come out in the story as told, but I need it clear in my head. There is a wealth of backstory to probe, then, and the later pieces will fit together.

It's one of the fun stages.

Trebor1415
08-17-2012, 08:00 AM
Be aware that if he can't meet the physical requirements of the job he won't have any choice except to take a desk job until he either heals or takes medical retirement or medical disability.

I can't think of a scenario where he can't physically do the job, due to an injury, but can still stay as a police officer while refusing to do a desk job.

He would get time off, probably paid, for healing and recovery for an on the job injury. It may be possible for him to get an extension on that, but after that, it's either be fit enough to go back to duty, take a desk job until he's fit enough to go back to duty, or take disability or retirement.

Btw, getting shot in the knee, specifically, is likely to be crippling. That's not something that's going to be easy to fix and we're talkign extensive surgery and considerable post-op physical therapy, etc, and even after all that his mobility will never be the same.

frimble3
08-17-2012, 10:16 AM
And, if you want a 'shadow' over his departure, but nothing provable, he could be completely cleared, but if he left immediately afterwards, there would always be some who would be "Where there's smoke, there's fire. He left as part of a cover-up."

He might not have even been involved in whatever went down, it's just the perception, especially if there was corruption and cover-up. Either he left before he could be implicated, or others hustled him out of the way before he could implicate them. And how can the poor guy disprove it?

Some people love a conspiracy theory.

John342
08-17-2012, 02:36 PM
Informed experience particularly welcome, but I accept advice from all comers and am profligate with rep points. Bring it on.

*

I need to know what sort of circumstances could lead to possible early retirement or medical discharge from duty (likely not the right words--correct at will) for a West coast police officer. Specifically, can I set up some kind of background like this for a guy in his late forties?

1. I want an injury, maybe a bullet to the knee or shoulder, that could garner a desk job (which he wouldn't take).

2. If he is offered a desk job for medical reasons but refuses it, is there likely to be any early retirement or pension options? I expect about 20-25 yrs service under his belt. I can work with little to no financial support if he leaves the job entirely, but I just need to know what the reasonable range of outcomes is.

3. There is likely to be a shadow over the incident, with him having being cleared on internal investigation for a death but with that sort of rumorish business hanging over him. Could that make a difference politically in how fast or how much he is encouraged to leave, or would it be straight by the book?

*

Y'all are gorgeous, insightful, and the very essence of charitable.

I'm from Illinois and served on a pension board for eight years. I am still full time.

1 - Most common would be leg or arm( gun arm) that prevented him doing his job. However, most departments are getting away from offering desk jobs (light duty) because they just can't afford to have a sworn officer not doing what a sworn officer does. Many agencies are cutting their ranks in this economy. Additionally the decision of whether he is able to work or not is largely in his own hands... if he tries to come back and gets a sympathetic doctor he may well get back to full duty, even though he may not be capable of it.

2 - In our state if his department doesn't offer him a light duty job he has to retire. Medical disabilities are broken down into two categories: On duty disability (he was injured in the performance of his duty) and off duty disability (happened while he was not at work and not acting as an officer.)
- On duty disability gets 65% of his salary tax-free and free medical benefits.
- Off duty disability gets 50% of his salary.
Turning down a light duty assignment may also work out the same way, although I have never seen that.

3- That's incredibly likely. A department wouldn't offer a guy any position if he "smelled" bad after a serious event, if they had the opportunity to dump him. Politics would play a big roll; who his friends were, and who his enemies were... all that.

Hope this helps.

Pyekett
08-17-2012, 04:28 PM
Thanks, Trebor 1415, frimble3, and John 342.


Be aware that if he can't meet the physical requirements of the job he won't have any choice except to take a desk job until he either heals or takes medical retirement or medical disability.

Yep. That's exactly where I want to put him. Excellent.
And, if you want a 'shadow' over his departure, but nothing provable, he could be completely cleared, but if he left immediately afterwards, there would always be some who would be "Where there's smoke, there's fire. He left as part of a cover-up." ... And how can the poor guy disprove it?

Some people love a conspiracy theory.
Great point. The hit justs gets harder and harder.


I'm from Illinois and served on a pension board for eight years. I am still full time.
Wonderful. Thanks for weighing in.

Additionally the decision of whether he is able to work or not is largely in his own hands... if he tries to come back and gets a sympathetic doctor he may well get back to full duty, even though he may not be capable of it.
Good to know.


- On duty disability gets 65% of his salary tax-free and free medical benefits.
- Off duty disability gets 50% of his salary.
Enormously helpful.


Hope this helps.

Can't even tell you how much. Thanks.

Much appreciated, all. I will be out for a bit, so though folks are still welcome to weigh in, I likely won't see it for awhile. I'll check back in at some time, though.

Again, I'm in your debt.