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Bipolar N.M. Officer Cleared for Duty, Sues PD

July 18, 2013  | 

A Los Alamos (N.M.) Police officer who spent 10 days in a psychiatric facility for bipolar disorder has sued the agency after he was cleared for full duty including carrying a firearm.

Brian Schamber's commanders forced him to go to the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in December. A police-contracted psychiatrist eventually cleared him for active duty.

Schamber has returned to work, though he's working from home and doing work that doesn't require him to carry a gun, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Schamber's lawyer, John Day, is claiming his client can't go back to patrol duty because of a federal law that prohibits him from possessing a firearm because he was committed to a mental institution. Los Alamos County has countersued for compensatory and punitive damages.

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Ima Leprechaun @ 7/18/2013 10:29 PM

I am so thankful to be retired.

Capt. Crunch @ 7/19/2013 11:05 AM

I'm, sure there is more to this story. Is Schamber, bipolar or not?

I'm, also glad to be retired.

Chuck @ 7/20/2013 4:44 AM

Amazing! How can someone, who by Federal Law is not supposed to be able to purchase or possess a firearm because of his medical past, be allowed to wear a badge and carry a gun?

How was he able to get onto the LE Agency or even into the Police Academy in the first place? Did he "omit" this fact from his application? Wouldn't that in itself be enough of a violation to get him fired from the force?

ChucklesMessedUp @ 1/8/2017 9:05 PM

Medical past in Nm, such as bipolar disorder does not exclude one from becoming a police officer, or owning a gun. It does not also in the majority of states.

The Monitor articles, and the New Mexican ones too (since heavily redacted to their shame) also mentioned it was a set up by a lying Psychiatrist named Greg Baca, basically a continuation of a hit by the former police chief, who himself had filed for extra compensation for retirement due to mental illness bad enough to stop him from working.

Under Nm and most state's laws, gun rights and rights to vote, and make decisions, cannot be taken away except by an emergency involuntary commitment to a mental hospital, or adjudication by a court judge. NM recently passed a law that is illega about medicating people, but you can look up sells vs. the US, a SCOTUS opinion, that is illegal, too. The county settled because it broke the law, Schamber never did.

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