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State Police Union Pushes to Change PTSD Coverage for First Responders

photo of Mike Weinman
Mike Weinman of the Fraternal Order of Police Ohio (pictured) says officers need help and are self-medicating and committing suicide

The state’s largest police union wants the Bureau of Workers Compensation to cover more claims for post-traumatic stress disorder in first responders.

Right now, the Bureau will cover PTSD if a first responder has an injury that causes it. But Mike Weinman with the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio says that’s not necessarily how PTSD works.

“It’s an accumulation of traumatic events, and then there’s a trigger. So seeing my partner getting shot and killed would be a trigger to the 20 years of things I’ve seen over the course of a career.”

As he’s done for the last few years, Weinman is asking lawmakers to change the rules to allow first responders to get workers comp benefits for PTSD even if they don’t have physical injuries. Weinman says officers are self-medicating and even committing suicide and need help.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.