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December 14, 2017

'I feel punished': Officer who developed PTSD after Pulse massacre to lose job


‘I feel punished’: Officer who developed PTSD after Pulse massacre to lose job

EATONVILLE, Fla. —One of the first police officers to respond to the Pulse nightclub massacre…


One of the first police officers to respond to the Pulse nightclub massacre is losing his job with only months to go before he’s entitled to full pension benefits.

The Eatonville Town Council voted to end the employment of Cpl. Omar Delgado, who told WESH 2 News he was deemed unfit for regular duty by his department because he has post-traumatic stress disorder.

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The decision was made during a meeting Tuesday night, during which the council also approved a partial payout of the officer’s acrued sick pay.

“I needed help, and I guess I am being punished because I asked for help,” Delgado said.

Delgado was there the night terror struck Orlando at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016.

Ever since, Delgado said, he’s been re-living the shooting, often waking up screaming from night terrors.

“I’m 911. Now who do I call? Because I need help now. And who is going to help me?” Delgado said.

“Not only did he save my life, but I have gained a brother now,” Angel Colon said.

Colon says he’s thankful to Delgado for saving his life. Delgado pulled him from the nightclub so he could be treated for gunshot wounds.

He’s had several surgeries since the attack. On Tuesday night, just days after his latest surgery, he showed up at Eatonville Town Hall to help support Delgado.

“They just need to have his back 100 percent with this. He’s an amazing guy who just did his job that night,” Colon said.

“I’m going through something, and there’s no gaurantee I’ll get over it and there’s no gaurantee I won’t,” Delgado said.

His PTSD nightmares were realized when the city that employed him decided he can no longer serve.

He told WESH 2 News he’s been on light duty for several months and he’s just six months shy of tenure, which would have made him eligible for full retirement benefits.

“I have a duty to do per what’s legal, per what was said to me, and that’s what I have to do,” Eatonville Mayor Eddie Cole said about the decision.

Cole said he wished some of the money raised after the Pulse tragedy would have been saved for first responders.

Delgado said the issue of PTSD needs to be taken more seriously. He said it’s a disability for which he believes first responders should be covered and compensated.

“I understand it has a lot to do with red tape and has to do with money, but can you put a price on a life?” he said.

An online fundraiser has been set up to help pay for the officer’s counseling sessions. Click here to view the page.


Source: ‘I feel punished’: Officer who developed PTSD after Pulse massacre to lose job

‘I feel punished’: Officer who developed PTSD after Pulse massacre to lose job


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