Hero Officer From Pulse Nightclub Shooting, Omar Delgado, Deserves His Full Pension!
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Officer Delgado made global headlines when tales of his bravery were told after the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. He risked his life to save as many people as he could and put himself in harms way to do so. Subsequently, he was diagnosed with PTSD and has been on desk duty ever since. Given what he experienced, what he saw, that is absolutely understandable. Officer Delgado says he has the same dream every night - he and other officers are trying to get survivors out of the club when more shots are fired but they don't know where they are coming from...they hit the ground and he wakes up screaming. He is unable to return to sleep after that. He says that seeing a psychologist regularly hasn't been much help but he continues to do so.
He knows that his mental health needs to be his focus 100% and he's ready to leave the department to do that but he's only asking for an additional 6 months on the job so that he can become fully vested in his pension. This 6 months makes the difference from receiving 42% of his earnings for life or receiving 64%. To put this in perspective, Officer Delgado only makes about $38.5k a year after being on the force for 9.5 years. So, he's only asking for another 6 months so that he can reach the 10-year mark and so that his pension payments can increase from about $16k per year to about $24k per year. At this time, he's supposed to lose his job on December 31, 2017.
Not many know this but my Dad is from a long standing Eatonville family - the Joiners. I have always been proud of them and proud of Eatonville but this is just wrong. This is NOT the way we treat our heroes especially when they are suffering. We would ask the police department, mayor Eddie Cole, and the city council to consider one of 2 more equitable and favorable solutions:
1. Allow Officer Delgado to remain on the job through July 31, 2018 to achieve full vesting in the department's pension plan.
2. As part of his termination package, include a clause stating that he is fully vested immediately and therefore entitled to his full pension right away.
Right now, we have a hero who is worried about feeding his family, providing Christmas for his 2 children, and learning how to sleep again. We simply do not push him out into the cold to do this alone. Please do the right thing.
Photo © Daymon Gardner, Dear World Omar Delgado, Eatonville Police officer.
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