The two Falmouth police officers who were shot last July when responding to a disorderly conduct call will not return to active duty.
Officers Ryan Moore and Donald G. DeMiranda were shot when responding to a disturbance in East Falmouth on July 27. Officer DeMiranda was shot in the chest and shoulder, and Officer Moore was shot in the neck.
“In the year that followed, those two officers were involved in various levels of effort to return to regular service with the town,” Town Manager Julian M. Suso told selectmen at their meeting on Monday, July 8.
Despite working with a number of medical professionals, Mr. Suso said both Officer DeMiranda and Officer Moore are unable to return to active duty.
Town staff prepared a letter of retirement request, which will be sent to the Massachusetts Legislature. The letter will petition the state to allow for an early retirement for the two officers, given the violent circumstances surrounding their injuries.
“The chief and I have sent letters of support for this,” Mr. Suso said.
He asked selectmen to affirm the letter. The board did so, unanimously.
Selectman Douglas C. Brown said he was under the impression police officers could retire under such circumstances. Mr. Suso said they can.
“It is not necessarily automatic and in some cases, can take months or years,” he said. “This would allow that process to be expedited.”
Selectmen chairwoman Megan E. English Braga said the letter is recognition of the efforts of Officers DeMiranda and Moore, both during the incident last July and throughout the year since.
“We are supporting these officers, with the recognition that they performed at the highest level during this event, have done the best that they can to ascertain whether or not they can come back into service and have weighed that very heavily, with the assistance of the personnel at the police department, medical professionals and their families,” Ms. English Braga said. “This is not just letting the legislature and the governor know that we support them, but really making the statement that these individuals deserve the highest level of support and should have the 100 percent retirement and benefit of that, as they have certainly given a significant amount to this community.”
Selectman Brown and Selectman English Braga referenced a comment from a member of the retirement board, who expressed concern that if Falmouth allows more staff members to retire early, the town might need to fund the retirement account at a higher level.
“If we have these kinds of events happening all the time, I think the least of our concerns would be funding our retirement,” Ms. English Braga said, noting this sort of early retirement is granted to police officers who were injured in violent altercations while performing their jobs.
Following their injuries, Officers DeMiranda and Moore were named the Falmouth Police Officers of the Year for 2018. They were also presented with the Medal of Honor, the department’s highest award at the Falmouth Police Department Award, Recognition and Swearing-in Ceremony on February 5.
They were also honored as “Top Cops” by the National Association of Police Organizations at the 26th annual Top Cops Award Dinner held in Washington DC on May 12.