OFFICER PHIL ROSELLE
Veteran Police Officer | Husband | Father | Needs a Kidney
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The following article is from Law Enforcement Today:
NORWALK, Conn. — Every time he moves, Phillip Roselle can feel the 9-mm bullet still lodged in the right side of his chest.
Roselle, a 30-year veteran of the Norwalk Police Department, was accidentally shot during a training session at a gun range in September 2017. He has been dealing with that bullet, along with a host of other medical issues, for the past year. Moreover, Roselle is not only out of work, but he’s still fighting for his life, reported thehour.com.
Complications from the shooting have led to blood clots, a partial blockage of his heart and permanent nerve damage in his right hand. Recently, doctors told Roselle that he will also need a kidney transplant to survive.
“My life did a 360 that day,” Roselle said. “I still try to do the best I can, but as a man, I’m expected to be the bread winner, the father figure, the foundation of the family and all. I’m used to protecting and helping people. To turn around and have everyone needing to help me, it’s something that will take some time getting used to.”
After the shooting, Roselle knew he would have to fight to recover. Yet sadly, what he didn’t see coming was a fight with the city. The jurisdiction he had sworn an oath to protect had become his enemy.
Roselle, 51, has twice been denied workers’ compensation, according to thehour.comreport.
The Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission reasoned that an underlying health problem, Type 1 diabetes, is keeping him out of work. The family argues he was healthy until the shooting began his downward slide.
Furthermore, the city does not appear to be advocating for him. Friends and family blame Norwalk for the denial, saying it ultimately falls on the city to protect its first responders.
“For him to go to work one day and to have something like this happen, which you have no control over, it’s not only a financial setback, it’s also a mental setback,” said his wife, Debbie Roselle. “For Phillip to get better, he needs his mental state to be in a better place, and that feeling of abandonment, when you serve your city and you put your life on the line for 30 years, and they turn their back on you, it just hurts.”
Nevertheless, city officials say the decision is in the hands of the commission. In June, the commission made its second determination that Roselle is being kept out of work by his underlying medical condition, not any shooting-related injuries, according to Ray Burney, the personnel director for the city.
Both the commission and the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, a municipal insurance provider, declined to comment.
Roselle, who was diagnosed with diabetes 32 years ago, said the commission’s conclusion couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“I’ve always been diabetic, that’s never impeded my ability to be a police officer,” Roselle said. “For 30 years, I did everything that a police officer is required to do, and I did it to the fullest.”
However, despite hurdles and setbacks, Roselle’s attorney, Matthew Paradisi, said they will continue to fight for compensation, calling the grounds for the denial “untenable” and “unethical.”
“From our perspective, legally, Norwalk should be coming to the table and compensating him for these injuries. And the fact that his benefits were cut off, in my mind, is unconscionable,” Paradisi said.
Mayor Harry Rilling, a former Norwalk police chief and police union president, said the city had no role in the decision, adding that he recently reached out to the family to “figure out what options are available.”
“We need to do everything we can to protect our first responders,” Rilling said. “They put their lives on the line day in and day out, and we need to make sure that we’re here for them when they need us.”
The Roselle family confirmed that Rilling had reached out to them last week, but said there had been no progress with the case since.
Lt. Dave O’Connor, the president of the police union, said it is the union’s position that Roselle was injured at work, therefore he is entitled to workers’ compensation “until he is able to return to work.”
“We are concerned that he is not getting what he needs from workers’ comp, and we would like to see that resolved as quickly as possible,” O’Connor said. “He doesn’t have a paycheck coming in now, which is causing us great angst and it’s putting an enormous amount of strain on his family.”
THE GREATEST INJUSTICE – THIS OFFICER NEEDS YOUR HELP
In today’s world of law enforcement, evil is rearing its ugly head at an unprecedented rate. Officers are being attacked almost daily by low life thugs, the media, politicians and in general by people that have no clue what it is to be a police officer!
The worst attack, in my most humble opinion, is not coming from the above listed sources. This attack is coming from within. It is coming from those that are our administrators within our cities and counties. They promise to protect us and always say no one in this family fights alone! Yet, they choose workers compensation insurance advocacy firms, which fight every claim they make. The fight would be understandable if it were an officer’s fourth back injury claim in two months and was found fraudulent. But instead, they’re fighting legitimate claims made by our defenders that nearly lost their life!
On September 5th,2017, one man did not realize how much his life was about to change. It was a normal day like any other. He and several of his fellow officers had been sent to lo-light shoot training. At the end of his class he was cleaning his pistol next to one of his fellow officers when a gun accidentally discharged. This man, Phil Roselle, a 30-year veteran of Norwalk Police Department suddenly had his life changed.
The bullet shot through his hand and entered his chest, leaving Phil critically wounded. Phil until this point had been healthy for the most part. He had diabetes, but it was well controlled and he had no issues with it.
After his stay in the hospital, Phil came out ready to go and believing that he was going to be taken care of. He and his and family had no reason to doubt it. Soon, Phil started losing function in his hand. As his injuries continued to worsen, the department became less involved in providing the support he needed. Then kidney issues started coming up. Phil had never had issues with his kidneys until the bullet entered his body and since has been left in. The diabetes, that Workers Comp claims is the underlying issue, isn’t what caused that to happen. Phil is now on dialysis three days a week and his kidneys are not functioning at all. Phil needs a kidney transplant in order to function normally.
Who wants to be treated like this? I assure you of this, the insurance claims representatives sure wouldn’t be if it were them. They would demand the best possible care money could provide! No one, I repeat, NO ONE deserves this, especially our first responders! Phil is one of hundreds of officers that is being denied the care they deserve.
The way our cities and counties are treating these responders is criminal! All anyone asks is to be provided for when something bad like this happens. It makes no difference if you were shot, stabbed or in a car wreck, if you were serving for the protection and safety of others YOU DESERVE to be taken care of.
If you believe in Phil and want to see this injustice taken care of, please contact the City of Norwalk at (203)854-3200, his state senator for the 25thdistrict of Connecticut, Senator Bob Duff at (860)240-0414 and the representative Chris Perone at (860)240)8585, Rep. Bruce V. Morris (860)240-8585, Rep Terrie Wood and Rep. Fred Wilms at (860)240-8700.
We also encourage you to think about becoming a Live Kidney Donor! To find out more, please visit www.kidneyregistry.org!
To view this article on The Whiskey Patriots, please visit HERE.