Case study: GMP - permanently disabled

PC Damian Malone

PC Damian Malone from Greater Manchester Police with his assistance dog

PC Damian Malone was left facing paralysis or permanent disability after he was injured making an arrest.

The GMP offcer slipped two discs whilst arresting a man suspected of assaulting his 73-year-old mother. “My back took all the shock and I slipped two discs. I was out of action for a few weeks and couldn’t get out of bed,” he says.

Two years on from the incident, the offcer’s condition continued to deteriorate and he started losing the sensation in his feet and legs. A scan revealed two burst discs that were compressing his spinal root nerve.

PC Malone was in danger of becoming paralysed. He underwent a discectomy in 2009 and again recently, and has had a Spinal Cord Stimulator device implanted. He jokes that: “My children call me RoboCop.”

PC Malone now works in the GMP Force Crime Audit Team and has been partnered with a Labrador Retriever assistance dog from the Hounds for Heroes charity. "Trooper helps me to stay physically active and is trained to pick up items and open doors," he says. "He can also fetch things and get help if required."

PC Malone feels that awareness and understanding from colleagues towards disabled offcers is imperative. He would also like to see a greater emphasis placed on operational risk assessments and harsher penalties for those who assault police offcers.

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