NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The attorney for an Iraq war veteran who had always dreamed of serving as one of New York’s Finest said his client was turned down for the job because he once suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lawyer Robert Kronenberg said his client came back from war and applied to become an NYPD officer, but was rejected due to his mental health history.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports
“Who wouldn’t have nightmares or think about some of the things that they’ve seen in the theater of war?” Kronenberg told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman on Monday.
The file on Kronenberg’s client showed his symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, had gone away, but the NYPD turned him away anyway.
“When I asked the psychologist on the stand at the hearing whether or not he could recall ever putting anyone through who had PTSD and he said he could not recall doing that,” Kronenberg told Silverman.
The Police Department said each applicant is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
“Police officers have a lot of authority, a lot of responsibility. We’re required to make certain that these testing standards are adhered to,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told Silverman.
However, Kelly, a Vietnam veteran, did not say if there is a blanket policy against hiring cops with a history of PTSD.
“There is a whole series of tests and requirements that we have to go through before we hire someone,” Kelly said.
Kronenberg, a former NYPD captain, claims any mention of PTSD is an automatic disqualification for applicants.
“A soldier returning who may have had some PTSD-related symptoms, does that mean that person could never be a police officer?” Kronenberg said. “This young man’s dream was shattered for no good reason.”
Kronenberg’s client is now a cop in a different department, Silverman reported.
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