A career in law enforcement is unquestionably one of the most difficult careers available in the United States today.
In addition, while it was never a well-paying position, you could always count on good benefits.
Consequently, you can understand how strange and disturbing it must be to find that there is one sheriff’s department in Tennessee that does not provide basic health insurance coverage.
Wayne County, Tennessee, is large, rural, and impoverished. Given the fact that it is a rural county with no industry, there is not a significant tax base.
In addition, while it does not have a high crime rate, it does have some problems, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.
This enraged nude inmate flooded his cell in order to assault two jailers at the same time.
When it comes to tense situations, a high-speed chase culminates in the woods with the suspect holding his cellphone like a pistol at deputies, perhaps hoping they will shoot him. They don’t, but even if they did, how do you sleep after a night like that?
It is not that we prefer to do so, but rather that we are obligated to do so by law, because we come across so many distinct possible threats in our task. Wayne County Sheriff Shane Fisher stated that “we must respond to whatever is happening and whatever viruses are prevalent.”
Sheriff Fisher has recently laid to rest another cop, Corrections Officer Will Walls, who died as a result of COVID-19.
“This terrible disease has afflicted so many people, but regrettably, it has also affected us and caused us pain. ” “This is not the first time that one of my employees has passed away while working for Covid,” Sheriff Fisher stated.
His brothers in Wayne County gave him a heartfelt send-off before he passed away. Unfortunately, there is more to this story than just a tragic death at the age of 39, which is unfortunate.
Walls had been on a ventilator for several weeks and had no health insurance. Due to the fact that Wayne County does not provide health insurance to its employees, Walls not only leaves behind three children and a fiance, but he may also leave behind a significant financial burden.
According to FAIR Health, the average ventilator expense for uninsured patients is $234,000 per year.
“If any of my staff, including myself, were to be hospitalized for an extended period of time, we would be unable to recover financially.” Due to the fact that we don’t make a lot of money, it would stay with us for the rest of our life,” Sheriff Fisher explained.
Workman’s compensation covers on-the-job injuries, but this demanding position can result in a slew of off-the-job health issues. A heart attack or stroke could cause these policemen to lose everything they have worked for.
What happened to cause Wayne County to become the only county in Tennessee to refuse to provide health insurance to its workers?
“I don’t believe there is a single commissioner or elected official who doesn’t believe that the employees require and deserve health insurance. ” It all comes down to money. We live in an impoverished county.
“There are a lot of problems we have to deal with since we don’t have any money,” County Mayor Jim Mangubat said.
Mangubat claims that insuring county employees would cost at least a half-million dollars and that doing so would necessitate a 10 to 15 percent rise in property taxes, which he believes is unfair to taxpayers. He asserts that he was elected to represent everyone, not only county employees when he was elected.
“We are going to the same well all the time, trying to keep obtaining water out of the same well, the same folks for whatever we need to do. “That’s the kind of person we get,” Mayor Mangubat stated.
County Commissioner Katherine Reeves believes it would be well worth the money spent on the project.
“The safety of our employees and the citizens of our county is our number one priority.” It’s as simple as this: if we don’t have a safe county, we don’t have a county.”
Sheriff Fisher has begun the process of attempting to get compensation from the federal government for dying as a result of Covid in the line of duty. Officer Walls’ three children would benefit from the money raised.