Milwaukee triathlete gets taxpayer funded disability pension

Phil Boehmke
Dave Orlowski is 54 years old and usually swims 5 miles, runs 15-20 miles and then bicycles another 200-250 miles each week. The former Milwaukee police detective maintains a brutal training schedule so that he can compete in Ironman Triathlons around the globe. Last year Orlowski completed 6 of the grueling events and he has finished three so far in 2010.

This amazing show of athleticism and conditioning requires a full time commitment and in Orlowski's case a unique lifting program. Fortunately for the former homicide detective he has plenty of time to devote the Ironman competitions and thanks to the tax payers of Milwaukee he has been able to develop an amazing training technique.


After his long days of swimming, running and cycling, Orlowski returns home, gets down as low as possible and then lifts the tax-free $53K that the good citizens of Milwaukee pay him each year in disability benefits. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says that Orlowski has been declared "permanently and totally incapacitated for duty." In an era of exploding public debt and out of control unfounded pension liabilities it is interesting to note that.


As an injured ex-cop, Orlowski has been paid nearly $500,000 in tax-free pension checks by the city since 1999. He is currently receiving $53,063 a year from the city Employees' Retirement System, plus full health benefits.

[...]

In a 20-minute interview at his Wauwatosa apartment last week, a tanned and fit Orlowski emphasized that he is doing nothing wrong. The rules allow him to train as much as he wants for Ironman events while drawing a disability check from the city.

Orlowski did have a number of job related injuries and in 1998 he had his left shoulder replaced which left him unfit for street duty. The Milwaukee Police Department gave the former detective a choice of either a desk job within the department or "duty disability retirement" at 75% of his salary for life, he was in his early forties at the time. This was a no-brainer for Orlowski.


"it's not a position I wanted to work," he said of the desk job. "If you get put on desk duty as a police officer, you push paper for them. You're like any other clerk in the Police Department. It's a meaningless job."

Michael Tobin, the executive director for the City Fire and Police Commission said that the newly developed Differential Police Response Unit is made up of officers on light or limited duty and that they do actual police work, issue citations and conduct lower-priority investigations.


"If Mr. Orlowski is not too busy running triathlons, we'd be glad to find a place for him in the Milwaukee Police Department," Tobin said, "and that position would make a difference in the community."

Unfortunately for the citizens of Milwaukee, Orlowski cannot be forced to take a job under the current rules and it is very unlikely that he would be willing to give up his well compensated life of leisure and return to being a productive member of society.



paboehmke@yahoo.com

Dave Orlowski is 54 years old and usually swims 5 miles, runs 15-20 miles and then bicycles another 200-250 miles each week. The former Milwaukee police detective maintains a brutal training schedule so that he can compete in Ironman Triathlons around the globe. Last year Orlowski completed 6 of the grueling events and he has finished three so far in 2010.

This amazing show of athleticism and conditioning requires a full time commitment and in Orlowski's case a unique lifting program. Fortunately for the former homicide detective he has plenty of time to devote the Ironman competitions and thanks to the tax payers of Milwaukee he has been able to develop an amazing training technique.


After his long days of swimming, running and cycling, Orlowski returns home, gets down as low as possible and then lifts the tax-free $53K that the good citizens of Milwaukee pay him each year in disability benefits. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says that Orlowski has been declared "permanently and totally incapacitated for duty." In an era of exploding public debt and out of control unfounded pension liabilities it is interesting to note that.


As an injured ex-cop, Orlowski has been paid nearly $500,000 in tax-free pension checks by the city since 1999. He is currently receiving $53,063 a year from the city Employees' Retirement System, plus full health benefits.

[...]

In a 20-minute interview at his Wauwatosa apartment last week, a tanned and fit Orlowski emphasized that he is doing nothing wrong. The rules allow him to train as much as he wants for Ironman events while drawing a disability check from the city.

Orlowski did have a number of job related injuries and in 1998 he had his left shoulder replaced which left him unfit for street duty. The Milwaukee Police Department gave the former detective a choice of either a desk job within the department or "duty disability retirement" at 75% of his salary for life, he was in his early forties at the time. This was a no-brainer for Orlowski.


"it's not a position I wanted to work," he said of the desk job. "If you get put on desk duty as a police officer, you push paper for them. You're like any other clerk in the Police Department. It's a meaningless job."

Michael Tobin, the executive director for the City Fire and Police Commission said that the newly developed Differential Police Response Unit is made up of officers on light or limited duty and that they do actual police work, issue citations and conduct lower-priority investigations.


"If Mr. Orlowski is not too busy running triathlons, we'd be glad to find a place for him in the Milwaukee Police Department," Tobin said, "and that position would make a difference in the community."

Unfortunately for the citizens of Milwaukee, Orlowski cannot be forced to take a job under the current rules and it is very unlikely that he would be willing to give up his well compensated life of leisure and return to being a productive member of society.



paboehmke@yahoo.com