Orlando PD To Fire Cop With PTSD From Pulse Massacre Before Retirement Approval

Orlando Police Officer Alison Clarke will be fired on Friday, ahead of her January pension board review.

Orlando, FL – A 16-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department (OPD) suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the Pulse nightclub shooting and other traumatic incidents during her career will be fired on Friday because the police chief has eliminated permanent light duty.

Orlando Police Officer Alison Clarke is one of many first responders who was diagnosed with PTSD in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre on June 12, 2016.

Officer Clarke is the second officer to be terminated as she sought disability retirement, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Former Officer Michael Napolitano, who was shot in his helmet at Pulse, was fired in September while he was still waiting for a medical exam needed by the pension board.

Officials intervened to get the doctor’s appointment scheduled in time and to bring his case in front of the pension board, and he was ultimately allowed to retire on medical disability before he was actually terminated, the Orlando Sentinel.

But Officer Clarke hasn’t been that fortunate.

She is waiting for a pension board hearing on her status that is scheduled for January of 2020, but the powers-that-be have informed her that her time is up on Nov. 8, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The police union’s contract gives employees who have applied for retirement 180 days to get approved or be terminated.

Officer Clarke’s application for a medical disability retirement will have been pending for 180 days exactly when she gets the axe on Nov. 8.

The officer pleaded with OPD Chief Orlando Rolon to delay her termination until after the pension board reviews her case in a letter on Oct. 24, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

"Please take my request under consideration, and allow me to complete this emotionally difficult separation from my department and my career as a law enforcement officer as a retirement and not a termination,” she wrote.

Officer Clarke told WFME that Chief Rolon – who was deputy chief when the Pulse massacre occurred – was initially very supportive.

She was the only officer who responded to the shooting at Pulse that night who had previously worked a security detail for the nightclub, according to ProPublica.

Officer Clarke worked triage through the night of the shooting at the nearby Einstein Bros. Bagels shop.

“Of course, they were traumatized, screaming and crying, and not knowing where they were going,” the officer described the chaotic scene. “At that point I started asking for ambulances, and there weren’t any ambulances that were responding at that point. So we just started loading up patrol cars and [fellow officer] Jimmy Hyland’s pickup truck and started running people to the hospital.”

She herself was traumatized from the events of that night but was able to return to normal duty - but not the night shift - and work through her PTSD with a therapist provided by the city’s Employee Assistance Program, ProPublica reported.

But then six months later, she found herself at ground zero of another traumatic event after Markeith Loyd murdered her sergeant.

Loyd, who was wanted for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, fatally shot Orlando Police Sergeant Debra Clark in the parking lot of an Orlando Walmart, ProPublica reported.

“I had just started southbound when she came up on the air and you could hear the gunshots in the background,” Officer Clarke told WMFE in 2018. “She was my sergeant. I needed to be by her side and help her. So I must have dropped the crime scene tape and ran over and bent down and held her hand and tapped her leg and talked to her and told her that we were here and she was gonna be okay.”

She said she held her sergeant’s hand while other first responders performed CPR and then provided an escort to the hospital for Sgt. Clayton’s ambulance, according to ProPublica.

Her sergeant was pronounced dead at the hospital.

After that incident, Officer Clarke began experiencing episodes of hypervigilance, and the next time she had to draw her weapon, she said she couldn’t calm herself down afterwards, WMFE reported.

So she switched to light duty and entered a more intensive program for PTSD.

“Deputy Chief Rolon said timetable’s on me,” the officer told WMFE. “Whenever I’m ready to put a uniform back on and go back to work, I’ll be transferred to the airport and I’ll finish my career working at the airport.”

But then Deputy Chief Rolon became Chief Rolon, and he changed the department’s rules.

He eliminated permanent light duty which had previously allowed injured officers to stay on desk duty indefinitely, WMFE reported.

When Officer Clarke is terminated on Friday, she will have to go several months without a paycheck until pension board decides whether to retire her.

If she’s approved for retirement, she’ll be due back pay, but that doesn’t help her in the meantime, WMFE reported.

Once news of Officer Clarke’s imminent firing became public, the city and the police department issued a joint statement that said they “remain committed to supporting Officer Alison Clarke’s personal health and well-being.”

“Throughout her career and on the night of the Pulse Nightclub Attack, Officer Clarke bravely carried out her duties to help us further protect our Orlando community against horrific acts of violence,” City of Orlando Spokeswoman Karyn Barber said in a statement.

Comments (100)
No. 1-15
Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I wonder if she fired her firearm at PULSE. I wonder what she hit.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I have always maintained that women should not be cops. I may be vilified by feminists and even females cops, but some jobs are just not fit for women. For the same reason you don't see any women players in the NFL. Being a cop requires physical AND mental toughness. Same thing with the military, only not so much, since hand to hand in the military is very rare. Every time I hear about a lady cop being overpowered by a male thug, it does not end well for her. When I was a kid, the first female officer showed up in our town in 1973. It was a super safe community. One of my friends, who drove a hot rod got pulled over by her and when she stepped up to the window he ordered a cheeseburger with fries. She actually let him off with a warning. My point being there was a time when there were no women street cops, or combat troops. So my choice would be to give her the disability, but with the caveat that no more females be put on the force. Since that will not happen and women demand to be treated like men, then terminate her, with no disability.

LEO0301
LEO0301

The city and police department claim to supporting the officer's health and well being so long as it doesn't mean giving her a paycheck so she can eat and have a place to live. If she declares herself as homeless, she'll be treated better by the city.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Orlando police department patrol officer Alison Clarke, left, is embraced by Christine Gogicos while visiting the memorial outside the Pulse Nightclub on the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2017.

bronx163
bronx163

Just shows how a city will shit on the sheepdog to appease the far left.

Cops everywhere need to wake up and just let society implode and let them have their wish.

tfort
tfort

She had 180 days to resolve this. Is there any extra ghat held up the process. The Chief has to follow the rules and hopefully she is not the one who held it up.

6 Replies

LEO0301
LEO0301

You didn't read the article apparently. The chief changed the rules. They do that to save the city money. It shows they care more about the $ than the officers that work for them. And trust me, the chief will demand loyalty even if he's not loyal to his officers.

tfort
tfort

Don’t get caught up in the light duty change. The most important is the 180 days that she missed.

The 180 days is what the union wanted and now she is wanting an extension that the Chief cannot give. If she drug her feet during the 180 days, that’s on her.

Every job is like that - the boss has not only the employees to supervise, but budgets to balance. The Chief has to have a global view of the whole, not just the needs of one. Your loyalty is your paycheck. It buys you 2 weeks of the stuff.

LEO0301
LEO0301

She didn't miss 180 days. Read it again. This is what it says "The police union’s contract gives employees who have applied for retirement 180 days to get approved or be terminated. Officer Clarke’s application for a medical disability retirement will have been pending for 180 days exactly when she gets the axe on Nov. 8." Do you think it's a coincident that they fired her exactly 180 days after she applied for medical disability? Trust me, cities expect you to give your life for them but they will throw you out the moment they believe they can save a dollar. This wouldn't happen with a Sheriff's department. A deputy I knew lost both legs in a car crash. The sheriff promised him he would always have a job and would provide whatever training he needed to continue working. And the sheriff followed through on that promise. This Orlando officer deserves a disability retirement and is being screwed by her department.

tfort
tfort

She had 180 days to get the deal done and she didn’t accomplish the task, that’s how it reads to me.

The city never asked her to give her life. She applied for the job. She got paid for the job. Loyalty with any job goes from paycheck to paycheck.

Gretagarbo
Gretagarbo

Bullsht

tfort
tfort

180 days. Doesn’t matter now, her date has passed.

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

Wish505
Wish505

LOL.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Care to see what Burgers Allday really looks like. Be warned, you might need eye bleach. twitter. com / BurgersAllday ….no spaces needed. This site won't allow me to post it without the spaces.

Storm45
Storm45

Excalibr4: You are really getting beat up on this. Pretty disrespectful by other so-called colleagues in blue for a difference of opinion. They do not deserve the title of brothers and sisters. The addition of females to uniform patrol changed the culture of policing and not for the better for us old school guys. The standards changed and were degraded even for male officers to accommodate the less capable. Training was adjusted, to meet social demands, and efficiency suffered in both fire fighter and police ranks. It is the new, sensitive, “inclusive” world. The disrespectful vitriol you are experiencing is a barometer of the concomitant deterioration of character of many of those behind the shield. The PTSD issue is another matter. As a former combat spec ops guy and LAPD street cop, i am not entirely sympathetic to the issue for cops. One firefight and a psychological meltdown? It is a weaker world. Hang in there.

See to your weapons and stand to your horses, Storm

Shirleybaird571
Shirleybaird571

I think, the man should be able to retire, full benefits. He has, P.T.S.D. that is no reason, to try, & burn him. Seems like today, when our police officers, try & retire, they try, & take their benefits away from them, before they go. That is so wrong. That needs fixed.☹

WatchYourSix
WatchYourSix

Disgusting. Sounds like the gold shield went to this Chief's head. Never forget where you came from.

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

Face value it sucks, but as a previous admin person (permanent light duty assignments) you can't create positions for officers to remain working. If a department the size of New York, L.A. etc has desk jobs that pay the same but don't require carrying a gun, great. She has already said she can't draw a weapon without a meltdown. I am in complete concern for the officer and she should be given (based on what I have read) the chance to submit her case for medical retirement.

The airport idea is bullshit unless she is behind a desk unarmed.

ChristopherMarlowe
ChristopherMarlowe

you can see videos online of people carrying someone supposedly shot at the pulse nightclub TOWARDS the nightclub. they let the "injured" guy down, and he walks a little on his "wounded" leg before they continue. there are many more videos that show the pulse nightclub shooting to be yet another HOAX created to take away guns. (look up the repeal of the Smith-Mundt Act under the Obambi admin. that act previously made it illegal for the government to do domestic propaganda. now it is legal) you cannot get ptsd from helping to perpetrate a HOAX.

observer1
observer1

Knives are scary things! When I was about 17 I was standing about 5 feet away from 2 young guys having an argument. All at once with no warning and with lightning speed a very sharp knife just appeared and in half a second the other guy got deeply sliced across his face. I had no time to back up. That was long ago but I can see it now in my mind's eye. A few inches lower and death could have happened.