Police union seeks more help for Newtown officers - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Police union seeks more help for Newtown officers

NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB/AP) -

The union that represents police officers in Newtown is pushing to make more help available for those who responded to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Attorney Eric Brown with AFSCME Council 15 says a handful of officers have been affected so severely by what they saw that they are not working. He says they have to use sick time and could soon be at risk of going without a paycheck.

Brown said Wednesday that the town and the union are asking the town's insurer to provide more assistance. The union is also reaching out to the governor's office and the legislature, where one Connecticut lawmaker says it will consider changes in state policy.

A gunman massacred 20 children and six adults at the school on Dec. 14.

Officers told Eyewitness News that coping with the tragedy has been difficult, but the help from other law enforcement agencies has been tremendous.

"To look out and to see all these guys I never knew before, but they're cops and they came to help us and to aid us and not just with the day to day stuff but to help us heal and ask us how we're doing," said Newtown Police Lt. Christopher Vanghele. "Those agencies, I can't give a big enough thank you to."

Newtown police officers have been working around the clock since the school shooting. So, on Christmas officers from other towns lent a hand, which allowed the department to give all its officers time with their families.

"At some point in time I don't think we're going to be able to thank everybody," said Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe. "That's my concern, that we won't thank the people who care about us."

Shelton police told Eyewitness News that even their chief was in Newtown Christmas to help with some of the administrative duties. 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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