COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The bullet that struck former Columbus Division of Police officer Patrick Shrodes left him with permanent and debilitating injuries.
It also also forced him to participate in an insurance program retired first-responders said is painfully inferior and expensive.
NBC 4’s Tom Sussi talked with Shrodes in our week-long look into the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund controversy.
“The big comfort is knowing that you have benefits,” said Shrodes.
He said he had great benefits through CPD while employed.
A bullet, the night of March 15, 2017, changed his fate.
“I happened to be the first through the door,” said Shrodes.
The door of a known dope house on South Burgess Avenue.
“The first round hit me in the chest.”
Body armor stopped that one.
The second round hit Shrodes in the hip.
“It was like somebody flipped a switch and shut everything off from the waist down,” he said.
One bullet, from a 40-caliber Glock, fired by convicted drug dealer Shawn Toney, landed Shrodes in the hospital for 11 days.
It also forced him to retire at 50 years old.
“The one (bullet) that hit my hip, hit my femur and did some damage there,” he said. “The round fragmented and left some of it embedded into the joint, and the rest of it travelled back and caught the nerves near the base of my spine. Those nerves were severed so the damage is permanent.”
Constant pain is just one of the side effects. “I have partial paralysis in my lower left and foot. there’s areas I have no feeling and loss of function.”
Something else the former CPD narcotics cop loss. “The minute I retired, my entire family, wife and kids, we all loss our insurance.”
Shrodes said his wife put two of their daughters on her insurance program. Shrodes said another daughter is under his ex-wife’s insurance program. “We went from having an (annual) $800 out of pocket pay for the family to about $6,000 out of pocket.”
As for Shrodes, the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund used to provide its retirees with insurance benefits. That all changed January 1, when the fund stopped providing group coverage. Now, first-responder retirees must buy individual polices through an insurance broker.
“The plans have a $7,000 to $9,000 deductibles before they’ll pay anything. They can’t find doctors. They can’t go to specialists. They’re not finding hospital systems that they can use. If you have kids, children’s hospital isn’t even on it.”
Schrodes figures over the past two years, he’s paid about $20,000 out of pocket to cover doctor visits, tests and medications.
All because of a bullet he took in the line of duty.
“When I got shot I wasn’t surprised by it,” he said. “I knew what I was doing was dangerous. I knew the job itself was dangerous. But you expect that the promises made to you are going to be there. That you are going to be taken care of. that you are going to have health care. the city is going to cover your injuries.”
To help cover the insurance policies, the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund is supposed to give stipends to the 8,000 retirees. Shrodes said he has yet to receive one.