Page 12 - October 2021
P. 12

Financial Secretary’s Report
Going on the offensive
 I was recently contacted by a concerned mem- ber whom I will refer to as “Mike.” Mike, who is a Chicago Police Officer and a U.S. Army veter- an, was contacted by Sun-Times reporter Tim Novak. Apparently, this reporter was intent on exposing Chicago Police Officers like Mike, who have served their country honorably, sustained a workable disability and are now eligible for a property tax break.
In my conversation with Mike, he described the three surgeries he has endured, causing lim- ited mobility in his shoulder. Mike suffered his injuries while serving in Afghanistan in 2012 and 2013, fighting the global war on terror. Mike’s concern became heightened when this reporter began calling his wife, requesting to speak with her or her husband, even explaining that he would list names and addresses of police officers utilizing this property tax exemp-
tion — a benefit that they had earned.
I immediately informed one of our FOP attorneys, Tim
Grace, who contacted Novak. Tim composed a letter inform- ing the reporter that this earned benefit was in fact state law. That these same police officers, who suffered injuries while serving out their military obligations, are entitled to these disability benefits after they have met the federal guidelines. These same veterans could still function in their capacity as
police officers, and what is considered a disability under the federal guidelines does not preclude them from being full-du- ty police officers. Tim raised the safety concern of printing the names and addresses of police officers, putting them and their families in harm’s way due to any unhinged individual looking to harass or do them harm. He concluded his letter to the re- porter with, “This benefit is not given but earned.”
I’d like to personally thank Mike for notifying the FOP of this reporter’s potential article and intentions. We were able to fire back on multiple fronts. And Mike, being the Army vet- eran and police officer that he is, did not back away. Instead, he went on the offensive, spending hours on the phone. Mike contacted the Illinois and National VFWs, the Illinois and Na- tional American Legions, the Vietnam Veterans of America veterans disability representative, Veterans Affairs, Senator Tammy Duckworth (herself a disabled veteran), and his Al- derman Anthony Napolitano and let them know about re- porter Novak’s intentions. Mike was told that the Department of Veterans Affairs disability advocate contacted the reporter. Whether it was shame, enlightenment or the flat-out tenac- ity of the FOP and its members’ actions, the reporter never named or exposed the police officers who are receiving their hard-earned benefit.
Thank you and stay safe.

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