'Hero' Eatonville officer of Pulse attack loses job, feels 'pushed out'

'Hero' Eatonville officer of Pulse attack loses job, feels 'pushed out'”

Delgado couldn't believe that the town won't let him continue with the Eatonville Police Department long enough to qualify for his pension.

"They can't find it in their hearts to find six more months, just so I can be vested and then just move on with my life", Delgado told WFTV.

Colon says he's thankful to Delgado for saving his life. He has since served a desk job at the police station since the attack. He said this week all of that changed when he was told Monday that his last day on the job would be at the end of the month.

Delgado said he has been on light duty for several months, and he is just six months shy of tenure, which would have made him eligible for full retirement benefits.

He's not the first officer at the horrific shooting scene to meet this fate. Delgado, 45, to become vested in the pension system and collect 64 percent of his salary with benefits for life, the Sentinel reported.

Eatonville, however, is financially struggling.

According to the Sentinel, the police department wouldn't confirm the reason for Delgado's dismissal but said they'd reached an agreement to end his employment. "Could they have let me do that for six more months?" Instead, he will only receive 42 percent of his salary starting when he turns 55. "It's a small town".

Officials at the Orlando Police Department did not comment on the termination, but Delgado says the department expressed that they need to replace him with an officer who is able to go on patrol, which Delgado can't do because of his PTSD. "And who is going to help me?"

"We have reached an agreement with Officer Delgado, and we will be terminating his employment on December 31". Mayor Eddie Cole cited privacy laws in declining to explain the decision. "But some pictures are bigger than we all know".

"I'm going through something, and there's no gaurantee I'll get over it and there's no gaurantee I won't", Delgado said.

Meanwhile, a bill requiring coverage for mental-health treatment in workers compensation insurance for first responders with PTSD advanced Tuesday in the Florida Senate. It may be heard by the legislature in the session beginning January 9.

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