Chief Tells 3 Cops Their Work-Related PTSD Makes Them Ineligible To Have Guns

Hopkinton Police Officer Linda Higgins, Officer Peter Booth, and Officer John Moran are suing the city and police chief.

Hopkinton, MA – Three Hopkinton police officers on medical leave have filed a lawsuit accusing the city’s police chief of suspending their gun licenses in retaliation for their involvement in a collective bargaining process.

Hopkinton Police Officer Linda Higgins, Officer Peter Booth, and Officer John Moran were “injured on duty” on July 24, 2017, but the nature of their injuries have not been released, The Metro West Daily News reported.

According to court documents, the three officers, who have been on medical leave since the 2017 incident, filed a grievance for proper injury pay on Dec. 12, 2018.

Forty-eight hours later, Hopkinton Police Chief Edward Lee suspended their licenses to carry firearms.

“You are no longer deemed suitable as a result of post-traumatic stress related to injuries incurred while on duty,” Chief Lee wrote in a letter to each of the officers. “This is supported by medical reports.”

They were ordered to relinquish all firearms, licenses, and ammunition to their local law enforcement agency.

Attorney Kathleen Reagan filed appeals on the officers’ behalf in February.

The lawsuit accused Chief Lee of violating their right to bear arms, as well as their right to participate in a grievance process.

“Regardless of the merits of [state law] pay status or the resolution of collective bargaining processes, each individual’s right to bear arms and to engage in the rights secured under collective bargaining should not be pawns used in suspensions,” Reagan said, according to The Metro West Daily News.

“The [firearm license suspensions] were without reasonable grounds, and the decision to deny by the defendant was arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion…and constitutes a discrimination based on the fact that [their] duty-related [injuries] which is cited for the reason of suspension, occurred over a year and a half ago,” she added.

City officials and the police union president refused to comment on the pending litigation, The Metro West Daily News reported.

A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled to take place in Framingham District Court on April 23.

The officers' attorney and police chief each declined to comment further at this time.

Comments (24)
No. 1-14
charlesjandecka
charlesjandecka

If you are too "mental" to work, then why should you be given the "rights" of an able bodied police officer?

lauraaz
lauraaz

Rights, like the right to keep and bear arms, are god given rights and protected by our constitution. The chief of police has no say over constitutionally protected god-given rights.

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

This smells, but more than anything, we're wanting to recognize that y'all experience some real shit and want people to reach out for help - but if you do, apparently you get stripped of your weapons? Wrong message.

JBo
JBo

The officers' injuries occurred July 2017 and in December 2018 the officers filed a grievance for injury pay. Two days later the chief suspends their firearms licenses.

Yeah...there's a smell test problem here.

SgtBow
SgtBow

There is a gap in information BUT if an officer is off duty injured for two years they should be retired. "IF" their diagnosis/reason is PTSD, take their guns and retire them with treatment covered.

RPG156
RPG156

Population about 15K. Those three officers are probably a tenth of the force. I've seen many times when officers were retired for injuries because of the hardship that it causes from a budgetary and staffing standpoint. Especially in small agencies. And it has nothing to do with the administration's empathy for the officers and their families. Bringing up the collective bargaining defense seems like a ploy to me.

Pat1978
Pat1978

This is the first thing I thought of when the gun control lobby started pushing to take away firearms based on mental health concerns. I was pretty sure vets and cops would have problems due to the traumatic events they face. Now they will learn not to report their PTSD.

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

This is exactly why cops didn't report stress or get involved in these "debriefs" of the "critical incident" that departments like to hold. On the other hand, if the department has determined they suffer from PTSD I guess they better start the work-related pay and retirement.

DanVET
DanVET

I work with PTSD veterans. I attended seminars focused on what PTSD is and how it is managed. If you have 200 vets in your police department, VA statical studies tell us 60% are likely to have PTSD. So where are all of the dead bodies? Nonsense! Worse than nonsense. It is bigoted and discriminatory. They should sue under the Americans Disability Act. Oh yes, one more not so articulate comment the chief is an a$%#&le.

DaveZ
DaveZ

Asshole chief. Sue. Sue. Sue his ass.

gl1500rider
gl1500rider

If they can take away guns from soldiers with ptsd, why not cops too?

trainbuff
trainbuff

Through my years I have worked with many Officers who have had PTSD either job related or they were in the military first and Uncle Sam gave them a big dose of this before they came home.

Speaking from experience and having lived with PTSD for over 50 years, I can tell you that not once has it ever affected my job performance.

If anything, it causes it to become sharper and more focused because my survival instincts have taken over but my reasoning has never left me.

My decision making skills are quick, sharp, without thought, or hesitation, and they're always textbook spot on.

I watch people I work with or am around. Some don't know how to control their dragon and make it work for them, they get caught up in the day to day, piling it on until they can't take it anymore and feel suicide is the best option.

If my people are showing signs, I talk to them, not someone they don't know.

Suicide is never an option for anyone. Nothing on this earth can be so bad that it's worth killing yourself over.

Before you say, ah, but you don't know my life! True, but regardless of your story, I guarantee you I can trump it in spades hands down.

Not bragging, but if it wasn't for the grace of God I'd never be able to give you that sage piece of advice.

WillyKJr
WillyKJr

Atta' Boy Chief Lee!!! Gun ownership is a right per the Constitution but it is also a responsibility that can and has to be managed. If an officer (or any citizen) is deemed unfit to serve and make good decisions because of PTSD then the potential for harm to themselves or others goes up as well. That is not a risk worth taking. Thank you Chief Lee for doing the right thing.

RetiredCorrections
RetiredCorrections

Usually PTSD with intent to harm self or someone else or inpatient treatment at a mental health facility is legal and justifiable grounds for removal of firearms, PTSD in itself should never be grounds alone. When it is , I suspect a lot of issues will go unresolved and reported.