Community supports Chesterfield police officer who was fired after sharing mental health struggles

Supporters filled a fundraiser Monday to support a former Chesterfield Township police officer who was fired after coming forward with PTSD struggles.

"It's awesome to see the support of the community. I swore an oath to protect this community, so you don't realize how many people are there for you at the end of the day," Joshua Baker said. "I wasn't sure how many people would show up, but there's a lot of people here."

Baker helped save a 7-year-old girl who had been hit by a truck in New Baltimore. However, he began experiencing PTSD after the rescue. He stayed silent about it for a while.

"I went six months without coming forward because I was afraid that people would judge me," Baker said.

When he did go to the department to tell them what he was going through, Baker told them he was having trouble sleeping and used marijuana gummies to try and get some rest. Per a department letter, he was subjected to a drug test and was fired.

"When you are in it, you don't believe it, but it does get better. And you do have to talk to somebody. Even though it didn't work out great for me when I came forward, you have to do it anyway, and I'm glad I did because I'm in a much better place now," he said.

While Baker says he is in a better place mentally, he isn't financially. The fundraiser at Arctic Circle Brewing Co. in New Baltimore was hosted to help him get by.

"Officer Baker I think has been treated very cruelly and unfairly by the majority of our township board and there are those of us who think he is an absolute hero," said Chesterfield Trustee David Joesph. "Without insurance to get the proper treatment that he needs, we came together and trustee Anderson and I organized the community."

Baker said the money raised will help him pay his bills and continue to get the care he needs while he works to get back on the job. He is determined to return to the Chesterfield Township Police Department.

"That is my goal, is the next guy in line to go through something and someone out there is about to or is currently going through it, I just want things to be better, easier, and softer for them," he said.

Donate to help Baker here.