Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fired Over Faulty Nose


"The evidence sufficiently demonstrated that Agostino suffered a physical disability that rendered him unfit to serve as a police officer," wrote Judge Bernard L. McGinley in a decision delivered by a Pennsylvania appeals court last month. The disabling injury in question is an inability to smell, a condition called anosmia.
Officer David J. Agostino, who had served as a police officer for Collier Township since 1998, acquired the rare condition as the result of a head injury sustained in an off-duty motorcycle crash in 2004. After two years of rehabilitation, when he was finally able to pass a physical and return to duty, his dimmished sniffer became an issue.
Fellow officers testified that Agostino's nose was no longer able to detect alcohol on a driver's breath or natural gas leaking from a furnace.
Perhaps a larger police department could have found a clerical position for the olfactorally-deprived officer. But apparently, in Collier Township, there are no paper pushers. All police officers work the streets and all are first responders. Therefore, all must be able to pass the smell test.
Except there is no smell test.
According to Pennsylvania State Police Major, John Gallaher, executive director of the state municipal officers' training commission, there are standards for an officer's vision, hearing and cardiovascular health, but not for smell.

Do you use your nose at work? Would losing your sense of smell lead to losing your job?

1 comment:

Karen G said...

I feel really bad for this officer. While I understand how his fellow officers would be concerned about his job performance, it just stinks (pun intended) that the officer cannot continue on the force in some capacity.