FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian E. Downey, President
GOAL STATEMENT ON THE TERMINATION OF
CORPORAL OMAR DELGADO
EATONVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT, EATONVILLE, FLORIDA
New York, New York – December 6, 2017 - The Gay Officers Action League of New York is shocked and angered to learn that an officer, who answered the call of duty at Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016, is being terminated from the Eatonville Police Department at the end of the month, only six months before he would have been eligible to vest and retire with a decent pension. His termination comes after doing what every law enforcement agency begs its officers to do – to identify when they experience trauma from their work and seek help for that trauma.
Omar Delgado, a Corporal in the Eatonville Police Department in Florida, did what all officers are sworn to do – he rushed toward the danger and into the line of fire at Pulse Nightclub. One of the first officers to arrive on scene, Corporal Delgado was hailed as a hero that put his life on the line to protect those at Pulse.
However, not eighteen months later, the Eatonville Police Department is reportedly terminating Corporal Delgado’s employment, effective December 31, 2017. He will be six months shy of ten full years on the job, and six months shy of receiving retirement benefits critical to his supporting himself and his family.
The decision is an astounding rebuke of Corporal Delgado’s courageous actions at Pulse and in the aftermath, when he openly disclosed that he was suffering psychological trauma stemming from the attack. Corporal Delgado made no secret of his search for support from mental health professionals to deal with post-traumatic stress following Pulse. Now, he is facing unemployment, significantly diminished retirement benefits, and no coverage for treatments to help him recover.
GOAL condemns the firing of Corporal Delgado, and the insensitivity this action shows for a hero cop who did his duty. He risked his life, and he self-identified a problem that would hamper him from performing certain duties while he sought treatment. In both ways, Corporal Delgado shows what it means to be an officer of the law who cares about the people he is sworn to protect.
In June of 2016, Corporal Delgado risked his life for the LGBTQ Community, and it is up to us to call further attention to the actions of the Eatonville Police Department and pressure it to reverse its decision. GOAL will be reaching out to our partners in NYC and Florida to offer support to any group or persons fighting for Omar Delgado to complete his ten years on the job. To give him the chance to retire with dignity and support himself and his family. To properly thank him for laying his life on the line.