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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A union lawyer says the private charitable fund created by Connecticut lawmakers to help cover the unreimbursed mental health-related costs of first responders and other workers affected by the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School falls short of what's needed.

 

Eric Brown, a staff attorney for the union representing the Newtown police officers, said one of the officers is too emotionally traumatized to return to work and now faces possible termination.

 

Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe says he can't comment on the particular case but says the town is looking into the benefits that might be available to officers whose doctors say they can't return to work.

 

Brown said the fund - which records show currently has a balance of $147,066 - is inadequate. He said lawmakers should instead change the law and provide workers' compensation benefits for work-related mental or emotional impairments.

 

Such legislation died this year amid concerns it would create a financial burden for municipalities.

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