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October 15th, 2021 by Mike Vasilinda
Friday, October 15, 2021

Capitol News Service Feed

Friday, October 15, 2021

Police PTSD

Edius 1

Anchor Lead

Florida’s Police Chiefs are calling on lawmakers to allow more time for their officers to be eligible for workers comp benefits when it comes to PTSD. As Jake Stofan tells us police say the limited timeframe has made it near impossible for officers to qualify.

Supers:

0:08-0:12 Chief Daniel Slaughter

Florida Police Chiefs Association

0:32-0:40 Sheriff Michael Atkinson

Florida Sheriffs Association

0:51-0:56 Chief Daniel Slaughter

Florida Police Chiefs Association

0:56-1:05 Jake Stofan

1:05-1:15 Chief Daniel Slaughter

Florida Police Chiefs Association

Runs: 1:34

Anchor Tag

According to bluehelp.org eleven Florida law enforcement officers took their own lives in 2020. Already, seven have been lost to suicide this year. If you or a loved one are in crisis, call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255.

Police PTSD PACKAGE

Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter says the number of officers suffering from post traumatic stress is greatly underestimated.

SOT Chief Daniel Slaughter

Florida Police Chiefs Association

“I’d venture to guess that you’d probably have a hard time finding any officer that doesn’t have some form of it.”

It was only three years ago PTSD was added as a recognized line of duty injury covered by workers comp.

Still, many are slipping through the cracks.

Walton County Sheriff Michael Atkinson told lawmakers of a deputy sheriff who had survived a shootout, five years later was up for promotion and turned in his badge out of the blue.

SOT Sheriff Michael Atkinson

Florida Sheriffs Association

“Had not even spoken to his wife and children. He just wanted to walk out right there because of an incident that happened that had festered over the course of five years.”

Law enforcement says a big part of the problem is that in order to qualify for workers comp, officers have to point to a specific incident that caused their PTSD and apply for compensation within a year.

SOT Chief Daniel Slaughter

Florida Police Chiefs Association

“The nature of PTSD, the science shows that you don’t know when those symptoms are going to manifest themselves.”

Stand Up

“Police are hoping lawmakers can tweak PTSD coverage in the 2022 legislative session. At the top of the list: giving officers more time to apply.”

SOT Chief Daniel Slaughter

Florida Police Chiefs Association

“It’s an arbitrary time limit that just doesn’t make any sense. The officers, they may start showing symptoms later on in their career or there may be an accumulative effect of multiple events and right now the current legislation doesn’t do that.”

And law enforcement also tells us they believe better PTSD coverage and access to mental health resources could help with officer retention. 

They say better trained and more experienced officers will translate to greater public safety as a whole.

Capitol News Service Feed

Friday, October 15, 2021

Police PTSD

Edius 1

Anchor Lead

Florida’s Police Chiefs are calling on lawmakers to allow more time for their officers to be eligible for workers comp benefits when it comes to PTSD. As Jake Stofan tells us police say the limited timeframe has made it near impossible for officers to qualify.

Supers:

0:00-0:15 Jake Stofan

0:15-0:34 Chief Daniel Slaughter

Florida Police Chiefs Association

0:34-0:50 Jake Stofan

Anchor Tag

According to bluehelp.org eleven Florida law enforcement officers took their own lives in 2020. Already, seven have been lost to suicide this year. If you or a loved one are in crisis, call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255.

Police PTSD LOOK LIVE

Look Live In

“It was only three years ago PTSD was added as a recognized line of duty injury covered by workers comp. But law enforcement says because officers are only covered if they apply within a year of a traumatic event, many are still suffering in silence.”

SOT Chief Daniel Slaughter

Florida Police Chiefs Association

“The nature of PTSD, the science shows that you don’t know when those symptoms are going to manifest themselves. So it’s an arbitrary time limit that just doesn’t make any sense. The officers, they may start showing symptoms later on in their career or there may be an accumulative effect of multiple events and right now the current legislation doesn’t do that. The legislature did a great job in 2018 of expanding it, but it’s just  not far enough.”

Look Live Out

“And law enforcement also tells us they believe better PTSD coverage and access to mental health resources could help with officer retention. They say better trained and more experienced officers will translate to greater public safety as a whole.”

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