Amy Shaw is a former New South Wales police officer that served as the Domestic Violence Laison Officer at Liverpool Police Station in Sydney’s west. As one of the toughest jobs in the force, she provided supported, guidance, and counselling to the large number of victims in the area.
Amy formed a bond with Melissa Cook, a 29-year old that had recently divorced her former husband, 39-year old Comanchero bikie John Kudrytch. Despite an apprehended violence order that was in effect, on December 16 2008, Kudrytch walked into the BP service station where Cook worked and shot her in the chest . Kudrytch was later found dead at his own home.
Shaw transferred to a drug squad and dealt with the incident, as many police officers do, by compartmentalising the trauma. The subconscious or learned technique is a means to distance oneself from the trauma in an attempt to create a cognitive barrier with the experience.
While Amy was testifying before a coroner into the death of Melissa, those repressed memories surfaced and caused Amy to reach her breaking point – a psychological load that every police officer has. She was formally considered as “hurt on duty” on the last day of the inquest and medically discharged from the service.
Amy developed PTSD over coming weeks and has lived with the debilitating stresses caused by her time as a police officer ever since. Amy has officially been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety and OCD. She experiences many physical symptoms such as elevated heart rate, difficulty breathing, flashbacks, fear, paranoia and insomnia.
Shaw has made a claim to Metlife (insurance) which offers a provision through the superannuation fund and is yet to receive her claim. Despite being sent to seven psychiatrists that all confirm her diagnosis, Shaw claims that Metlife has responded with intimidation tactics that include private investigators following her and her children.
Any serving police officer will attest to the mental trauma that some incidents cause. They’ll all tell you stories of how the strongest and least likely officer will break down after a critical incident of some kind. For Metlife to treat Shaw with such contempt is a palpable insult to any officer that has ever served. If this is the manner in which Metlife conduct business, the NSW Police Force and any other organisation that utilises their services needs to revisit their connection with the group.
Shaw claims that she is coping with the help of friends, family, and counselling… but for positive change to take place Shaw needs Metlife to respond to her claim.
You can help. Shaw has set up a petition on Change.org that is rapidly garnishing the support she needs. The petition asks that MetLife approve Shaw’s claim, and “… stop the surveillance for Amy’s sake, her family’s sake and for the hundreds of other police officers who are suffering”.
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