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N. Chicago cops on line-of-duty disability get 'emergency recall' dispatcher training order. If they don't comply, they lose pensions.

Recall is due to 'dramatically understaffed' 911 dispatch center

Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot

Brian Carder spent 17 years with the North Chicago Police Department — and his tenure with the force took a toll on his body, WBBM-TV reported.

Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot

"I got hit by a car once," he told the station. "Well, actually twice."

Carder said he suffered a broken hand, broken collarbone, "a couple concussions," and underwent two hip replacements as an officer, WBBM reported.

Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot

Finally he was diagnosed with PTSD in 2009 and approved for a line-of-duty disability pension — his only source of income — and health benefits, the station said.

'Emergency recall'

But that all could be out the window after Carder and seven other former North Chicago cops injured in the line of duty got "emergency recall" letters in May ordering them to attend orientation for 911 police dispatcher training or lose their pensions, WBBM said.

Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot

North Chicago's police chief said in the emergency recall letter that the department's dispatch center is "dramatically understaffed," the station said, adding that the shortage is partly due to employees leaving for better long-term employment prospects over expected future consolidation.

The letter also said at times there's only one dispatcher on duty, the station added, and if that dispatcher is on another call or needs a break no one is available.

WBBM said it hasn't heard back from the police chief, and North Chicago's city attorney declined to comment.

Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot

Nothing doing

Most of the disabled former cops who received the emergency recall letter didn't show up for dispatch orientation last week, the station said — and with that the city filed a motion to revoke their pensions.

The motion says they've transferred other city employees into dispatch even though they also have no prior experience, WBBM added.

Not so simple

Turns out several of the disabled former officers live out of state, too, the station said — so it's not as simple as rolling out of bed and heading off to work for the day.

Carder told WBBM he doesn't know what he'd do without his pension: "I'd be homeless."

"Take a person's livelihood away after they already made a pretty significant sacrifice, it's just outrageous," he added to the station.

What's next?

The next meeting before the Police Pension Board is slated for October, WBBM reported, adding that the board will have final say over terminating the pensions. The station noted that the former officers could possibly appeal.

(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)

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