Unsuccessful Effort to Save Fellow Officer Lead to Post-Traumatic Stress
An effort to include a former staff sergeant’s name on a Toronto Police Service’s memorial wall has been held up.
According to the Canadian OH&S News, it was seven years ago that staff sergeant Eddie Adamson took his own life after an unsuccessful effort to save a fellow officer led to a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Family Working to Include on Memorial Wall
Since that time, his family tried to have his name included on the TPS’s memorial wall to no avail.
His daughter Julie Adamson, herself a 19-year veteran of the neighboring York Regional Police force, has been a strong proponent of having his name included on the TPS memorial wall — a roster generally set aside for those officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty — even going as far as to appeal to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
On Mar. 14, 1980, Const. Michael Sweet was on patrol and responded to a robbery, according to a Toronto police spokesperson. After other officers, including Staff-Sgt. Adamson, came on the scene, they discovered that Sweet had been shot and was being held hostage by the robbers.
Refused medical treatment, Sweet had lost too much blood by the time police stormed the restaurant 90 minutes later and he passed away in a hospital. Troubled by what happened, Adamson committed suicide in 2005. A subsequent investigation from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board ruled that his death was due to work-related injury, specifically PTSD.
Nearly Finalized Plans Appear Unequal
However, the Toronto Police Association (TPA), which collaborates with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) to decide whose names should be placed in the municipal memorial wall, have nearly finalized their plans to honor fallen officers who succumbed to work-related injuries in another way.
Though officials have stated that the committee’s results would be officially announced in about a month’s time, initial reports have noted a plaque or separate wall.
According to Adamson’s legal representative, “We don’t have details of the specific plaque or the criteria or the manner in which it’s presented — whether it’s equal to the memorial wall or subordinate to the memorial wall. Suffice it to say, differential treatment is obviously unequal treatment. If there’s a separate wall for people who have died as a result of mental illness, that’s not acceptable in any way.”
As of now, no hearing date has been set at the provincial human rights commission.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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