Naples City Manager to take over payback fight for veterans, police officers

Reporter: Annette Montgomery Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Gallagher, left and Harp, right
Credit: WINK News

Two veterans and former police officers are one step closer to getting the retirement funds they’ve been fighting the City of Naples for.

Both had to end their careers because they were injured in the line of duty. They fought for our country and wore the Naples Police uniform.

But now, former officers Brad Gallagher and Ryan Harp feel they have to fight the City of Naples. “As veterans and first responders, giving up is not in our nature. So, if they want to fight, they’re in for a fight because we don’t know how to say no,” Gallagher said.

Both veterans put tens of thousands of dollars into the police pension fund. Then, they were permanently injured in the line of duty. Naturally, they want their money back, but the city won’t return it to them.

“I’ve been hearing a lot from the last several meetings, but nothing’s getting done,” said Gallagher.

Naples City Councilman Ted Blankenship says the city is working on getting something done. The council asked the City Manager to investigate. “He is going to work with the city attorney and our outside labor counsel and actuary to look at what’s allowable under our current law,” Blankenship said. “And what is possible if we change the law.”

Ryan Harp doesn’t like this. “It’s pushing it off to the next person. That’s exactly what it is. We’ve been talking about this for over a year trying to get something done about it,” said Harp.

“Ryan and I are in agreement on this. We don’t really care what the city does as far as either option that they do,” said Gallagher. “We just want to make sure this happens, and it never happens to another veteran or first responder again.”

For now, there’s no timetable for when the Naples City Manager will report back to the city council.

Both Harp and Gallagher told WINK News they’re grateful for the support they’ve received from the people of Naples. They asked the community to continue messaging council members.

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