It’s been a tough two years for Robert and Molly Stump. But her faith in the DeWitt Township Board of Trustees Meeting gave her new hope.
“It seems to me there should be a reciprocal relationship between the township management and the officers they employ,” Molly Stump said. “My purpose in addressing you tonight is simple, to encourage a decision to reinstate my husband, Robert Stump, to his position as a police officer in your township.”
In the last two weeks, residents found out that the township fired Officer Stump. It wasn’t that long ago that the same township considered him a hero.
DeWitt Charter Township residents like Ken Pung want the Stump family to know, that they are not alone.
“If something like that happens to somebody, if we’ve hired them to do that job, then we should stand by them,” Pung said.
On Jan. 15, 2020, Officer Stump was called a hero after a life-threatening injury on the job, which changed his life in a flash.
He knew he had to stop a dangerous driver before she hurt anybody, the result was a crash.
“He sustained serious injuries, the largest was his hip-socket was shattered,” Molly Stump said.
Two weeks ago the township fired him. Officer Stump and his wife Molly couldn’t believe it.
“It was just, it was very shocking. It was hard to absorb what he was saying,” Robert Stump said.
Molly Stump recalls that Andrew Dymczyk, the DeWitt township manager, claimed he had a financial responsibility.
“‘We’ve given you enough time, you’re not at the point where you should be, sorry we’re terminating your employment.’ And treated him like he was too much of an expense.”
His hip replacement surgery is finally scheduled for May 11. The Stump family felt they were doing everything right in his recovery.
“We were thrilled, he was going to be in a lot less pain, he’s going to be able to go back to work,” Molly Stump said.
And the termination felt like a roadblock.
“It’s tough, it’s hard. You feel like you weren’t worth much,” the officer said.
The Stump’s really don’t know why the township fired him, but something changed this week.
The township met and decided to reinstate Officer Stump for now. The township manager even apologized for the way he’s handled it.
“If I contributed any additional pain or hurt in that, I am sorry.”
The meeting is set for next week to negotiate mutually beneficial options for both parties, with the minimum option of extending Officer Stump’s benefits through February 2023.
Included in the meeting will be the township manager, two township representatives, Stump, and local and national police union reps.