NEWTOWN, CT – Those who watched it happen will surely never forget. Most of us can’t imagine what Newtown first responders saw inside Sandy Hook Elementary last December 14th.
Unfortunately, Officer Thomas Bean can’t forget.
Bean was off duty that day, but when he heard the call for help he dropped everything. Coming face to face with the bodies of 20 children and 6 adults inside that school is not something an officer can train for. Bean described that day saying, in part, “Nothing could prepare you for that. The worst possible scenes you could think of, that day killed me inside.”
Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the badge he carried couldn’t protect Bean from the visions of Sandy Hook that haunted him. He says considered hurting himself at one point, just to feel something. After six months Bean was put on long term disability.
Then, he got a letter from the police chief confirming he was “permanently disabled” and suggested possible termination because, in Connecticut, workers’ comp only covers physical injuries and not mental health care. Bean says the city could only afford to pay him 2 years of long term disability despite the contract that covers the 12 years ’til he retires.
We ask, what kind of human being would Bean be if seeing those things didn’t traumatize him?
Newtown, if someone puts their life on the line for your community; at least make sure they’re not putting their neck on the line too!