Injured APD officer defends angry sergeant

Cop said he'd like to hit mayor with a baseball bat

Former Atlanta police officer Mike McCain suffered a career-ending back injury when he came to the aid of two fellow officers in 1997.

Part of McCain's medical care includes weekly injections. But by Sunday, he'll be out of a the drug he needs. And he says the company that handles the city's workman's compensation claims — NovaPro Risk Solutions — is to blame.

"I've been waiting for more than a month for them to pay for a drug," said McCain, who now lives in Austell. "All of a sudden, they won't approve it."

NovaPro had no comment.

McCain, a former Atlanta police union president defended the action of the current president, Sgt. Scott Kreher.

On Wednesday, Kreher told the city council he'd like to hit Mayor Shirley Franklin "in the head with a baseball bat" due to his frustration over disabled cops not being able to get claims paid. He later apologized for the comments.

"It's important that the mayor realize my comments were inappropriate," Kreher said. "My anger wasn't pointed at her."

Kreher said officers have asked repeatedly to meet with Franklin, but a meeting has not been granted.

"We'd like to see a review from outside of the policies and procedures of NovaPro and how they're handling our disabled officers," Kreher said.

On Oct. 12, 1997, McCain came to the aid of Rick Sowa and Pat Cocciolone, who were shot while responding to a call. Sowa was killed and Cocciolone badly injured. Cocciolone, who is still being treated for the brain injury she suffered, has been unable to get NovaPro to pay for a ramp for her home, McCain said.

Atlanta police chief Richard Pennington was not available for comment Thursday afternoon.

"I would have never dreamed this would happen when I left a medical career to join the police force," McCain said.