Nashville, TN: The law enforcement, first responder and military profession share a lot of the same characteristics. The people who enlist in those professions require intense training and a willingness to serve their country and community.
The choice to serve goes well beyond just getting a paycheck.
One of the other characteristics that these services have in common is the amount of stress and tension that go with the job.
Whether law enforcement is dealing with the decay of society day in and day out, first responders showing up to a gruesome scene that includes death and destruction or the military men and women who prepare for a year long deployment to fight our nation’s enemies- it is all stressful.
But it is this same stress that bring us closer together, that strengthens our bond and gives each one of us an identity that lasts forever.
Unlike the business environment where people are typically in competition with one another; ours require a much different approach.
For us to survive in these challenging environments, we must learn to work together as one cohesive unit. Failure to do so can lead to certainly lead to danger, including death.
It is for these reasons that a strong level of camaraderie is built among the law enforcement, first responder and military community. We understand what each other goes through; the challenges, adversity and daily fight to grind on.
No one in the civilian sector can understand what we go through. Our tales of struggles and complications on our last tour of duty typically falls on deaf ears when trying to explain it to civilian friends.
But a law enforcement officer, first responder and servicemen and women get it every time.
That is the reason why we reserve our work-related stories for our work friends. And whenever civilian friends ask how our job is going, we typically limit our response to it’s fine or the same as usual despite it being anything but that.
The Dreaded Line-of- Duty Injury
Another reality of the job is the constant threat of personal injury.
Unlike our businessmen and women counterparts whose primary concern for on- the- job injury is tripping on an extension cord- ours go way beyond that- up to and including death.
Whether it is a fireman running onto the second floor of a blazing inferno, a cop who must handle a violent suspect high on drugs or a soldier who’s on patrol in an enemy held territory- the dangers are constantly all around us.
Injuries occur all the time. Some are serious, others are minor – and every once in a while, it is career ending.
When a career ending injury occurs, it not only impacts your daily life physically, but it strips away your identity.
Prior to the injury, your career and life revolved around being on the job and caring for those you work with- it’s who you are.
In an instant, all that can disappear.
When that happens and you lose your identity, your world can turn upside down. You have trouble adapting to a ‘new life’, you become unsure of who you are as a person, and depression sometimes settles in.
The Man Who Wants to Change That
This unfortunate reality didn’t get past one man- Joe Towers.
Joe is a retired Nashville Police Department Lieutenant. He recognizes that law enforcement officers, first responders and military personnel can have their life flipped upside down with a serious injury.
So he created Hero Hunt Inc.
Hero Hunt affords the opportunity to those injured in the line of duty a chance to get back some of that precious camaraderie that comes with public service.
According to the ‘about page’ on their website, www.herohuntinc.org:
“Hero Hunt, Inc. organizes exciting and therapeutic game hunts for disabled veterans and first responders from across the country throughout the year.”
“But more than the hunt, we offer healing, understanding, and camaraderie to those who have served our country and our citizenry so valiantly.”
Hero Hunt wraps up their mission beautifully:
“The mission of Hero Hunt, Inc., is to bring our line of duty injured heroes, military, police, firefighters and other first responders back into the fold of camaraderie they left when leaving the service to our nation due to those injuries.”
Joe and his team have great working relationships with landowners throughout the country. They work together to organize trips for the injured to relive that unique camaraderie only found in service to others.
They go on fishing trips, hunt a wide variety of animals, hold fundraising event and much more- all in an effort to help the injured.
Hero Hunt Inc. is always in need of donations as there is no shortage of injured personnel.
DIG DEEPER: This is why injuries can be detrimental.
Cop badly injured in the line of duty fired by township because it’s too expensive and taking him too long to heal
Posted February 25, 2022
DEWITT TOWNSHIP, MI – According to reports, a police officer who was grievously injured by a suicidal driver two years ago has been fired from his job because of the cost and timeline of his care.
Fox47 News states that three weeks ago, Officer Robert Stump, who has served his community for 14 years as a police officer, was scheduled for hip replacement surgery May 11, in an effort to return to work after a horrific accident in the line of duty.
However, on Thursday, February 17, he was fired by DeWitt Township Manager Andrew Dymczyk.
Stump sustained severe injuries in a car crash on January 15, 2020.
According to the Lansing State Journal, on that day, driver Randi Justice, 33, had been pulled over by Laingsburg Police Chief Dan DeKorte.
As DeKorte worked on confirming an outstanding warrant for Justice for “a probation violation involving a drug case,” Justice fled the scene, leading police on an 11-minute pursuit at speeds exceeding 70 miles per hour.
Officer Stump, from DeWitt Township, was responding to assist when Justice suddenly swerved and crashed head-on into Stump’s patrol vehicle.
According to police, Justice rammed Officer Stump’s patrol vehicle because she was trying to kill herself.
Clinton County Sheriff Larry Jerue told WILX:
“We have evidence to believe that this was a deliberate act on the perpetrator’s part to run head-on into that vehicle and this afternoon (Thursday) we are submitting a report to the prosecuting attorney’s office along with requests for multiple charges including that of attempted murder.”
Justice was initially charged with:
“attempted murder, fleeing and eluding a police officer, reckless driving causing serious impairment, malicious destruction of police property, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer.”
However, according to the Lansing State Journal, she ended up with a plea deal and pleaded “no contest to two counts of felonious assault and one count of assaulting a police officer.”
The Police Tribune reports that Molly Stump, wife of Officer Stump, stated that she was informed that Justice will serve seven and a half years in prison due to her plea deal.
NEWS UPDATE: DeWitt Township Officer Robert Stump is expected to have surgery after being hit by another driver who was trying to kill her self. https://t.co/tSD6tpuGaU
— WILX News 10 (@wilxTV) January 21, 2020
Meanwhile, Officer Stump has had to deal with the aftermath of Justice’s actions. According to the Lansing State Journal, his hip socket was “shattered,” and he was told he would need a hip replacement.
Molly Stump told Fox 47:
“He was not able to put weight on his hip for three months, so he was in a wheelchair.”
“We knew somewhere between six months and a year afterwards that the repairs done to his original hip were not going to let him go back to work the way he was.”
However a much-needed hip replacement was delayed due to “the pandemic, long waits to get appointments at doctor’s offices and delays with workers compensation.”
Molly Stump noted:
“Worker’s comp is known for being harder to work with.”
“They’d say, ‘Well let’s try this first,’ so there’d be an injection or another therapy we think is going to help and so we have to go through those hoops because worker’s comp kind of dictates that.”
Officer Stump told Fox47 that during his lengthy wait, he was cleared to work light duty, but the township did not allow it:
“I asked my doctors, ‘Can I go back to work?’ and my doctors have said, ‘Yes, but only at a limited capacity,’ light duty.
“The answer was, ‘The township will not approve light duty for you.’”
At long last, Stump was scheduled for hip replacement, but the Lansing State Journal reports that shortly after the surgery was scheduled, “DeWitt Township Manager Andrew Dymczyk asked Bob to come in for a meeting and fired him.”
The Lansing State Journal further notes that Molly Stump said Officer Stump was told that “two years was enough time to heal and they needed to fill his position with someone who could be on the streets because he had a financial obligation to the township.”
Officer Stump told Fox47:
“I asked, could I have a little more time?
“He [Dymczyk] said two years felt like enough.”
Stump’s dismissal letter indicated that financial burdens on the Township were behind the reasoning in his firing. It stated, in part:
“As you know, in the twenty-five months following your injury, the Township has kept you on its full-time police department roster. The Township has maintained your healthcare benefits throughout this time at its own expense while you received workers’ compensation benefits….
“It is our understanding that there is no present medical indication about when or if you may be able to return to work as a full-time patrol officer for the Township.
“Unfortunately, because you are no longer able to perform the essential functions of your role as a patrol officer, the Township is no longer able to keep you on the roster and the employment relationship with the Township must be separated.”
Molly Stump told Fox 47:
“We’re very overwhelmed, very confused, by all of this….
“How do you go from two years ago, you know, being hailed a hero, and now you’re a burden to us financially?”
A DeWitt Township police officer was fired last week, 2 years after he was injured on duty https://t.co/Rxk4NvjkJ4
— FOX 47 News (@FOX47News) February 22, 2022
The Police Tribune has also uncovered some “scuttlebutt” regarding Dymczyk’s personal feelings toward Stump.
According to unnamed sources:
“for many years, Officer Stump worked tirelessly as the union representative for his department, and in doing so, had battled with the township manager on more than one occasion.”
Those sources added that:
“Dymczyk has held a grudge against Officer Stump for his union advocacy work and that what he has done to the officer since he was hurt in the line-of-duty crash is ‘purely malicious.’”
As for Dymczyk, the DeWitt Township Manager has refused to comment on the situation. Fox 47 reports that he wrote in an email:
“To protect the privacy of our employees, DeWitt Charter Township does not publicly comment on personnel matters.
“We are forever grateful for Officer Stump’s 14 years of service and dedication to our residents. We wish him continued success in his recovery.”
Molly Stump told Fox 47 news that other officers are concerned about what Stump’s treatment by the township means for them.
“People need to know, I mean, that the people that are protecting them are not being protected themselves, and that affects them because, you know, these are great officers that he’s worked with for a long time.
“Amazing people that are now questioning, ‘Do I go to this dangerous situation and put myself in that situation if I know that, I know what happened to Bob, like, is this going to happen to me?”
Officer Stump told Fox 47 that all he wants is to get back to work:
“In an ideal world, yeah, I would love to get back to work.
“That’s my goal. It has been since Day One.”
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DIG DEEPER: This is how an injury could happen.
Off-duty Chicago cop injured trying to stop shoplifting mob in police-defunded Chicago
Originally published January 25, 2022
CHICAGO, IL – An off-duty Chicago Police officer working security on the Magnificent Mile has been injured trying to stop three men from shoplifting.
A shoplifting mob injured an off-duty officer as they raided a high-end store on the Mag Mile yesterday afternoon, escaping with purses that sell for thousands of dollars each.
The same store has been hit at least two other times in the past 6 months.https://t.co/ZDolbibdyV
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) January 23, 2022
The Bottega Veneta at 800 North Michigan on the Miracle Mile is one of many companies that will not allow people to simply walk into the store in an attempt to deter retail thefts.
Instead, would-be customers must be allowed inside by an employee.
The business also had hired an off-duty police officer to perform these duties in January of this year. The off-duty officer noticed one customer at the front door and went to allow him inside.
As she opened the door, three other men waiting outside of her view forced their way inside the store. Once inside the store, the criminals made their way to the sales floor where handbags, which retail at thousands of dollars, were located.
The four criminals grabbed what they could and then made their way towards the exit where the off-duty officer was located. The off-duty officer, who was not named, attempted to block the suspect’s exit, however, the criminals shoved her which caused her to fall and strike her head on the glass.
The off-duty officer received a laceration to the side of her head and was transported to the St. Joseph Hospital where she was listed in good condition.
Reports from the Chicago Police Department did not refer to her as an officer, however, the store documentation according to CWB listed her as one.
Reasons-understaffing, low moral, call stacking, ridicules policy from ASA on felony retail theft prosecution & little support from elected officials…
Among Numerous Recent Retail Thefts On And Around Magnificent Mile, Only 2 People Have Been Arrested https://t.co/V5D213zxhC
— Chief Thomas Weitzel-Retired (@ChiefWeitzel) December 18, 2021
The four suspects were able to flee in what police are reporting was a stolen black Ford Expedition. The vehicle was last seen headed east on Pearson.
CWB reports this is at least the second instance at the Bottega Veneta being victimized similarly. In September of 2021, a person went to the door posing as a customer and requesting entry. When the store employee allowed him in, roughly 11 other men rushed in behind him.
The suspects made their way to the sales floor where the expensive handbags were kept and grabbed over 30 of them. The suspects then headed towards the exits and escaped in two different vehicles.
The series of shopliftings on the Magnificent Mile and other places in Chicago has occurred after Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has blamed the increase on the businesses as opposed to the criminals. She said:
“We still have retailers that won’t institute plans like having security officers in their stores, making sure they’ve got cameras that are actually operational, locking up their merchandise at night, chaining high-end bags. These purses can be something that is attracting a lot of organized retail theft units.”
This sentiment was argued by Rob Karr, the President, and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association which believes that the stores are not the issue. He said:
“The comments that retailers need to do more are sadly misinformed. I think it ignores the fact that retailers spent hundreds of millions of dollars every year on security…We’re not going to put the entire store behind glass cases or under lock and key. Retail doesn’t work that way.”
Just sad. Prosecute those organized retail theft rings.
Magnificent Mile: More Trouble For Area That Was Once A Crown Jewel Of American Retailhttps://t.co/bwftFZkkxj
— Robert Lee (@roberee) October 20, 2021
“We have a fine line to walk. I don’t think the mayor wants a line of armed personnel in every store.”
Karr noted that criminals tend to look for the easiest way to score and not get caught. And right now, it appears that Chicago is one of those areas. Karr said:
“Criminals take advantage of the weakest links, and right now Chicago looks like the weakest link, because the very leadership that ought to be addressing this together with us, is fighting with each other over who’s to blame.”
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