We Need Open Communication in All Directions

Catastrophes described in Christie Blatchford's report (click here) must be avoided at all costs. 

It seems there is a mad dash to get officers and other first responders back to work despite their obvious inability, due to mental injuries/mental illness.  It's time we put ego, compensation and reintegration concerns aside and focus on truly helping first responders, who are suffering with mental illness, on their path to recovery. 

Recovery may never mean they are “whole”, but a "new normal" can be achieved and from this, reintegration and meaningful work may be possible...without endangering those suffering or their coworkers. 

Failure to manage these issues properly will lead to suicides, ruined lives and costly law suits.  If it comes down to money, as it always appears to, one has to ask "are we saving money by forcing the issue of return to work (etc...) if we lose more in the law suits and grievances that follow?".  These cases represent public money being mismanaged; and first responder lives being lost.

I hope the officers compensated in this matter (the ones who tried to help the officer who clearly needed their support) are not punished for doing the right thing.  Hats off to them all.  Managers, take the lessons learned (in this and other cases) without grudge and move on.  Those compensated officers will likely make great leaders - it's much harder to lead from the ground than on high. 

It's time senior managers "drop the gloves" for the purpose of a meaningful handshake with the suffering rank and file, as opposed to a punch bolstered by the power of their high rank; make open communication truly possible.

Never forget that in the end, rank aside, we are all public servants.   

 

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