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Police Department Changes Disability Policy For Military Vets

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Police officers who were injured or wounded while serving in the military will no longer be forced onto disability, at significantly lower pay.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy quietly changed the rule in December, after learning of an officer who suffered severe combat injuries overseas had recovered enough to return to work on a desk job, but had been told the job would end in two years, and that he would be placed on disability, because it was department policy.

Department spokesman Adam Collins said the policy for those officers wounded or injured while on active duty military assignments will be the same as those wounded or injured in the line of duty.

Collins said McCarthy sees serving in combat as no different from serving on the streets of Chicago, because the goal is the same — to protect the people of Chicago, and in the case of the military, the entire nation.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that McCarthy could identify readily with the officer’s case. It reported that McCarthy’s father, a New York police officer who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was forced into a limited-duty role because of injuries suffered while fighting in World War II, and that McCarthy has long thought that to be unfair.

The Fraternal Order of Police applauded McCarthy’s decision.