Imagine failing at your job so spectacularly that the whole world knows not just that you failed, but that your failure resulted in the death of as many as 17 high school kids? The whole world sees you as a coward for failing to act in the process. If that was you, what do you think you would deserve?
As for me, I’d deserve nothing but scorn. I sure wouldn’t deserve more than $104,000 per year in pension.
Scot Peterson, the sheriff’s deputy vilified for failing to confront the Parkland school shooter, has begun receiving a state pension of $8,702.35 a month.
Peterson resigned and retired Feb. 22, a week after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he waited outside as Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and wounded 17 others.
Peterson began to receive his pension in April, according to the Florida Department of Management Services. He can receive the payments for the rest of his life.
The 55-year-old Peterson, a Broward deputy for 32 years, was paid $101,879.03 last year — $75,673.72 in base salary plus overtime and other compensation, according to sheriff’s office records. Until the shooting, he was considered a trusted school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas, according to annual reviews of his performance.
He was eligible to retire from the agency in July 2010 when he had 25 years of service, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman said Wednesday.
So, his pension amounts to a pay raise well over and above his base pay and even over what he made in overtime and other forms of compensation.
Sure. That makes sense. About as much sense as a minotaur riding a centaur through a Dairy Queen drive-through.
Peterson failed to act. In the process, 17 kids were killed, another 17 were injured, and the rest of us are knee-deep in a fight to keep our constitutional rights, all because this guy didn’t have the cajones to go into the building and protect the students he was charged with protecting. And his great punishment for his failure to act? Something that amounts to a pay raise, the need to never work again, and the ability to spend the rest of his days just goofing off.
Kind of like what he did when the shooting was taking place, now that I think about it.
Look, police have a tough job. I know, I was raised by one. I know how hard it can be about as well as anyone who hasn’t worn that uniform could know. I’d never bash police as a profession.
But Scot Peterson was a disgrace to the uniform that day. He was ready to protect himself, but not the innocent kids he saw and interacted with every day. He knew these kids’ names, their faces, their voices. He knew them, and yet he still kept his happy butt outside while a maniac brutally murdered them.
And his punishment? He was forced to move on in life to a cushy $104,000 per year lifestyle that requires pretty much nothing of him for the rest of his days.
Peterson should have been fired, ending his pension hopes forever. His gross incompetence and cowardice cost people their lives. For him to enjoy that kind of income without lifting a finger disgusts me.