There has been a great deal of debate about the officer who was seen standing outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February. The deputy did not enter the high school building while the suspect was shooting inside, raising questions and concerns about his training and why he didn’t do anything to try to stop the suspect. The officer is now receiving an $8,000 pension each month to the dismay of some residents in Broward County, including students who were at the school the day of the shooting.
Scot Peterson is at the center of the debate as to whether he should receive a pension payment or if he should face any kind of penalty because of his actions at the school. He has offered reasons for not entering the building that include not knowing exactly where the shooting was coming from and not wanting to hinder the advancements of other officers. After reviewing some of the radio transmissions, officers have discovered contradictions in what Peterson has said and what actually happened.
The transmissions reveal that Peterson knew that the shots were inside the freshman building. There is also a portion of the recording asking that officers stay away from the building. Peterson’s first pension check was given in April for a little over $8,000. He will receive about $104,000 a year, which is more than he made while he was serving with the sheriff’s department. Peterson was allowed to receive his pension after investigators did not file charges for his actions outside the school. If charges would have been filed, then Peterson would not have been able to receive his pension. The amount of a deputy’s pension is determined based on the length of time that person has served with the department. The person’s average salary is also factored into the amount of the pension. If Peterson faces any charges in a civil manner or if there is a breach of trust discovered, then he could lose his pension altogether.