Town Heals and Remembers

Newtown Cop Facing Termination Won't Lose Job: Police Chief

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013  |  Updated 3:16 PM CDT
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AMONG THE FIRST TO RESPOND TO THE HORROR AT SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY WAS OFFICER THOMAS BEAN A 12-YEAR VETERAN OF THE FORCE, WHO NEVER RETURNED TO WORK AFTER SUFFERING FROM THE EFFECTS OF POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. TO ADD TO THAT DEVASTATION OFFICER BEAN FOUND OUT HE COULD BE FIRED.

Jeff Saperstone and Thomas Kienzler

AMONG THE FIRST TO RESPOND TO THE HORROR AT SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY WAS OFFICER THOMAS BEAN A 12-YEAR VETERAN OF THE FORCE, WHO NEVER RETURNED TO WORK AFTER SUFFERING FROM THE EFFECTS OF POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. TO ADD TO THAT DEVASTATION OFFICER BEAN FOUND OUT HE COULD BE FIRED.

A veteran Newtown police officer who has not returned to work since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year is no longer in danger of losing his job.

Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe has withdrawn his recommendation to terminate the employment of Patrol Officer Thomas Bean.

"I am hereby withdrawing my request and recommendation for the termination of Officer Thomas Bean," Kehoe wrote in a letter to the Newtown Board of Commissioners on Dec. 5.

On Aug. 9, Kehoe submitted a letter to the board recommending that Bean be fired for not returning to work after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012.

Bean was among the first to respond to the horror at Sandy Hook and suffered the effects of post-traumatic stress.

"It was a devastating day and the effects have been devastating," said Eric Brown, attorney for the Newtown Police Union.

Bean received a letter over the summer stating the town needed to take some sort of action in terms of his employment.

Bean has been receiving long-term disability benefits, but the town's insurance police will only cover two years of long-term disability.

"The town tried to pinch some pennies by buying the wrong type of insurance policy, " said Brown.
   
Brown has said he believes this was a violation of the union contract and said Bean was supposed to get 50 percent of his pay until retirement.

"Tom acknowledges, based on his own reports, that he's probably not going to be able to come back to work. The question is what type of benefit is he entitled to?" Brown said.

Bean appeared on the Today Show last month, where he said what he witnessed inside the Newtown school continues to haunt him and he wanted the town to keep a promise it made to him and other officers to take care of them should something happen to them.
 

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