Sunday, October 19, 2003
About 2,000 people in Allegheny County live and work with multiple sclerosis, including Jim Beserock, chief of police in Munhall.
Beserock, a police officer for 27 years, was diagnosed with MS in 1979.
Throughout his illness, he has attended college, worked full-time as a patrol officer, administrative sergeant, and now, police chief. The last few years, he has performed all of his duties from a wheelchair.
"I am so grateful to the mayor and council because it was a risk on their part," he said. "I give them credit for having an open mind and giving me the chance."
Beserock, who suffers from relapsing-remitting MS, said he had some apprehensions about taking the position.
"I think anyone with a disability works hard to prove themselves, because there is still a lot of misunderstanding out there."
Beserock has been on leave from the department for six weeks to receive intravenous treatments for neuropathy, a condition similar to arthritis caused by MS. He plans to return to work once the treatment is finished.
"I can't go golfing or bowling or dancing, but I can still do my job," he said.
Much of Beserock's duties have centered on developing emergency response plans with the county. He also makes the schedules, reviews reports, works on the budget, and meets with school and community leaders.
"There are many facets of law enforcement beyond chasing the bad guys,"
he said. "If you have the knowledge, you should be given the opportunity."
Copyright © 2003, The Tribune-Review Publishing Co.