Martin C. Evans

Army hero, or gun-toting felon: redemption through service?

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2009 at 10:43 am

Should we think of Specialist Osvaldo Hernandez as a gun-toting felon, or as a guy whose “exemplary” service of country has earned him a second chance?

That will be the question New York City police officials will grapple with in the likely event that Hernandez comes calling for a job when his upcoming second combat tour is done.

Specialist Osvaldo Hernandez

.

The Queens native and former paratooper in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division will serve his second tour in Afghanistan when he ships there next month with the Connecticut National Guard.

But he has expressed a desire to become a New York cop once his military service is ended.

That could be a problem.

Hernandez, 27, was sentenced to a year in jail after police found a semiautomatic pistol in his car in 2002, when he was 20. He said then that he needed the pistol for protection in his rough neighborhood where he lived then. He was released on good behavior after 8 months, and joined the Army.

Last June, he scored well on the NYPD recruitment exam. “All I ask is you give me the opportunity to serve New York City, the way I served in the United States Army, I served my country with honor, dignity and respect,” he told ABC News.

Yesterday, Gov. David Paterson pardoned Hernandez, after an Army vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, assured Paterson that Hernandez is “an exemplary soldier.”

But it remains to be seen whether Hernandez’ military service will fully redeem him in the eyes of New York police officials.

Previously, they have said city rules bar them from hiring a felon no matter how completely they have turned their life around.

Advertisements
  1. AS A RETIRED NYPD SERGEANT & A FORMER MARINE, I SAY THE JOB NEEDS A FEW MORE GOOD MEN.
    YISJTINSC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: