February 27, 2013 was an otherwise normal day for Officer Pete LaBoy on patrol in Alexandria, VA until he received a call for assistance from a fellow police officer. After arriving at a routine traffic stop, he approached the vehicle with caution. What happened next was anything but routine. Without warning, Pete was shot once in the head by the vehicle’s driver. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and into surgery. Ultimately, doctors chose not to remove the bullet fearing potentially severe damage that could result from the life-threatening surgery.
Although Pete survived the shooting, he was faced with serious, new challenges in the form of numerous brain injuries that require intense physical therapy. Even now, years after the shooting, he is still working to relearn basic motor skills he needs to be self-sufficient. Despite a promising recovery, Pete was unable to resume his police duties due to medical challenges and retired from the police force in June 2015.
Today, Pete suffers from seizures several times a year, diminished vision and significant speech problems in addition to a host of other medical problems related to his injury. Each day, he takes 13 prescription pills and visits the doctor two to three times each week for continued traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatments. Despite the strong rally of support from Pete’s colleagues and community, this incident has taken a significant toll, not only on his professional life, but on his personal life as well.
Pete is fortunate to receive both workman’s compensation and Social Security disability benefits from the state of Virginia, but is concerned that his current level of income will not be sufficient to manage future healthcare costs associated with his disability in addition to day-to-day living expenses.
Upon learning of Pete’s challenges, Code 3 informed him of federal benefits available through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) program. He is currently in the process of applying for assistance.
Despite his challenges, Pete remains optimistic and is committed to advocating on behalf of other first responders in need of long-term care to manage injuries sustained on the job.