Friday, February 26, 2010

Public Employees Face Different Kind of Risk

Tina Brewer's letter to the editor on Feb. 16 states that public employees receive their pensions after 20 or 30 years without assuming any of the risks that she and her husband faced building their business and acquiring rental properties. When something goes wrong, who will she call — her real-estate agent, her lawyer?

No, it will be police officers or firefighters. When they arrive, they are expected to face down an armed thug or maybe a mental patient not taking his meds. None of the risks?

Before she begrudges our pensions, she should answer these questions: Would she or her husband run into a burning building to alert and bring out the people inside? Would they go into a dark warehouse at 3 a.m. when a silent alarm is tripped? Would they crawl through the blood and debris to pull someone out of a wrecked vehicle?

These are some of the things we routinely do for 20 or 30 years. Also, we aren't with our family and friends for holidays, and we work shifts around the clock. I'm sure Brewer never thought about these things. Police officers and firefighters are just there when needed.

Tom Ross Leesburg, Orlando Sentinel, February 24, 2010

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