Part two: Nevada Sheriff, County, Vendor, and Outside Counsel, Fight Against Treatment of Brave Detective’s Debilitating On-Duty Injury.

Part two: Nevada Sheriff, County, Vendor, and Outside Counsel, Fight Against Treatment of Brave Detective’s Debilitating On-Duty Injury.

The Wounded Blue Shows Kim Frankel She’s Not Alone.

By Steve Pomper

Here we are again, back to learn more about betrayed Washoe County Sheriff’s Detective Kim Frankel’s, as she calls it, “journey” (she’s being kind). On the day her life inexorably changed, she was assigned to the Crimes Against Persons Unit, specializing in sex crimes against children, for which she’d been nationally recognized.

But let’s dig further into her malicious-betrayal-turned-hope filled-crusade to fix the worker’s comp system. And let’s also try to understand what her employer appears to be doing to her and, again, ask why. And let’s also see who’s stepped up to help her. If you haven’t read our first article in this series, you can find it here at the NPA website.

This story began simply enough (for a cop) and should never have evolved into this catastrophic abuse of an exemplary public servant. Kim was out investigating a case, driving an unmarked sheriff’s office car when a driver, high on drugs, crashed into her from behind before speeding off. Despite initially suffering whiplash, a concussion, and a lumbar strain, she chased down and apprehended the suspect before he could hurt anyone else. He was later tried and convicted.  

The deputy received medical treatment and immediately returned to work on light duty. Again, this case should never have dragged on for over three years, now. If anything, some local reporter should have been able to write that the sheriff, her husband’s friend, assured Kim, “Don’t worry, whatever you need, we’re here for you.” Reporters might have also written, “The state workers’ comp system fully backed Det. Frankel, providing timely and proper medical care, and she returned to work full-time helping Nevada’s victimized children.” 

But that didn’t happen—not even close. And that her permanent disability was preventable is the saddest and most maddening thing about this tragic story. It appears the prevailing medical diagnosis and prognosis determined Kim would likely recover from her injuries and return to duty. But she says her employer and third-party administrator ensured that didn’t happen. Why?  

Instead, it appears Washoe County and the third-party administrator were immediately adversarial, having Kim’s back only so they could repeatedly stick a knife in it. The original collision happened in June 2020 and since then it’s been nothing but obstruction, neglect, delays, and lies, including official false allegations against her and private investigators spying on her family with zero evidence of wrongdoing. 

This former professional extreme athlete now struggles with mundane tasks, tormented by dystonia, which causes sometimes painful involuntary muscle spasms, and also by an associated TBI. This condition is her constant, unwanted companion every single moment of every single day. 


While having the disease is heartbreaking enough, even worse, the county’s denying the same dystonia diagnosis made by physicians on Kim’s behalf and doctors for the county is nothing short of malicious. But she perseveres and forges ahead on her mission to help others caught up in a vicious system.         

We remain baffled by the monumental, mysterious, and maddening why that hovers over this case like a sadistic, sinister specter. The why evokes equal parts confusion and anger. But, while the sheriff and other officials try to beat Kim down, she does have allies helping her not only cope but also thrive in her crusade to find justice and fix the system.

In our last article, we mentioned Kim’s advocate from the Washoe County Sheriffs Deputies’ Association (WCSDA), Leslie Bell. Kim speaks highly of Bell, as she’s been present with Kim through many of her battles. This included working with Kim in her mission to change how the state treats injured workers by passing new legislation. Something we’ll cover in more detail in an upcoming article.  

Another immensely effective ally is Lt. Randy Sutton, retired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) after 24 years, and his organization The Wounded Blue. He’d previously also served 10 years as a cop in Princeton, New Jersey. In the 90’s, he appeared on the popular TV show COPS, has written several books, and is a spokesperson for Blue Lives Matter. The waitlist for his new book, Rescuing 911, is available here.

Lt. Randy Sutton LVMPD (Ret.), The Wounded Blue founder

The Wounded Blue’s mission is to address injured and disabled cops’ physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The NPA’s own Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith sits on their board of directors.

In April, Sutton interviewed Kim in a heart-rending nearly one-hour Rumble video at America Out Loud. Kim said something poignant to Sutton that cuts through the crap and gets to just how profoundly this betrayal has affected her. 


She said, “I truly believe, if I dropped dead today, they would celebrate” (not just sigh with relief, but “celebrate”). Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not, but does it get worse than feeling this way about people you counted on to be there for you at such times—about your boss?

Sutton said, “It’s almost unbelievable for the layperson to get their head around the way police officers are often treated by the very agencies and the cities and the counties that they have served.  

“In my work with The Wounded Blue, I see this every day. But I have to tell you…, your story touches me deeply, personally. But it’s also, I believe, one of the most egregious cases that I have seen.” 

Officers were present to support Kim at a legislative hearing to restore the “bad faith” element in the workers’ comp law. Some recounted similar stories of workers’ comp abuse. Even so, Sutton said he could tell these cops were shocked at what “the system” was doing to Kim.


It’s easy for cops like Kim to feel abandoned. Often, we think others know more about us and our lives than they do. But people are naturally consumed with their own lives. We can’t assume they know what’s happening to us because then we may take that to mean they don’t care when they just don’t know. 

Sutton also testified at the legislative hearing about his experience being denied health benefits while with the LVMPD. In a Calibre Press Training Network article Sutton said, “I had a stroke in my police car after 34 years on the job, right there on the Las Vegas Strip. It was the scariest thing that ever happened to me, and I’ve seen some scary shit. My department didn’t want to pay, even though they knew they had to legally. I had to go to court, and after a year, I won. But they nearly ruined me inside of that year. So, I got a taste of it. They hope you’re either going to die or give up.”

He told Calibre Press, “The final straw, for me, came from a young guy in South Dakota who’d been in a terrible fight—both arms ripped out of the sockets, his head smashed. The department took away a third of his pay, and his wife had to quit her job to take care of him. They couldn’t feed their kids. They were relying on bake sales to make it through. I knew then we had to do something.”

There’s a reason so many officers tell their families, “If anything happens to me on duty, and I can’t communicate or I’m killed, I do not want the (fill in the blank- chief, sheriff, mayor, governor, etc.) anywhere near my hospital room or funeral service.” When I was an active cop, I told this to my wife—a retired firefighter and cop’s daughter. She understood the significance.

Leaders betraying officers is not limited to denying workers’ comp benefits. It also applies to the policies and laws they create that put cops at increased risk. According to ABC News, back in 2015, NYPD officers turned their backs on the then-worst mayor in America Bill de Blasio “as he spoke during a funeral for [killed in the line of duty] officer Wenjian Liu despite a warning from their boss,” because of his anti-cop stances.

Sutton asked Kim why she wanted to be a law enforcement officer. Kim answered, “I loved—I loved—being a cop. It’s been the hardest part about this journey.” She spoke about “never ever being able to hear that Velcro of my vest [body armor] being put on and torn off at the end of a shift.”

Most civilians won’t understand this, but it will spark visceral images for cops. After I wrote this, in the video, Kim noted that officers would know what she means by “the sound.” 

After listening to Kim recount her case, Sutton hits on an issue we’ll also explore in a future article. Retaliation.

I spoke with Sutton about this nightmare Kim’s suffering. During their April interview, I’d heard him say he’d seen a lot during his career and then after founding the Wounded Blue. But he said Kim’s case was the worst he’d ever seen.

Why is this case so different? Sutton told me, “Because they could have fixed it and didn’t.” Sutton wondered how the sheriff could be so “cold and calculating.” He said the most challenging part is that doctors, even those retained by the county, said they thought Kim’s prognosis looked promising for a full recovery, if she got the proper care she needed and in a timely manner. 

While watching the interview, it struck me that this is where Kim got most choked up—that she could have been cured, and it appears they took that away from her intentionally—maliciously.  

Sutton said, “They sentenced her to life in a personal prison from a disease.” 

I asked him who he felt was the villain in all this. Despite the sheriff and county being significant players, without hesitation, Sutton said he believes it’s the, “The third-party administrator,” which in Kim’s case is CCMSI


Sutton said the system seems to operate in such a way that some insurance companies make money by denying claims. This may seem cynical, but other possibilities are elusive when looking at the apparent abuse in Kim’s case. Especially when the sheriff, county, and CCMSI won’t provide an explanation.  

Frustrated with the lack of compassion for Kim by her former command staff, the county, and CCMSI, I told Sutton, “I’m stuck on the why.” Why would normally decent people do this to Kim—to anyone?

Sutton, a master at distilling the complex down to the understandable, even said, “That why may be unanswerable.” He repeatedly described Kim’s tormenters’ actions as, “evil.” After what I’ve learned, how could I not agree with his description?

I asked Kim what support from Randy Sutton and The Wounded Blue has meant to her. Her answer reveals the essence of her nightmare contrasted by receiving the lifeline she so badly needed.


Kim wrote, if you want a ‘brief comment’ or understanding of Randy/TWB relationship with me here it is:

“If you don’t know the value of loyalty, you will never understand the damage of betrayal.” 

(author unknown) 

Randy contacted me after he observed one of Kolo 8 news journalist Ed Pearce’s stories about my quest to make Nevada a Bad Faith [state] at the 2023 Nevada Legislative Session, after approximately 2 years and 7 months of enduring egregious pain and suffering by the hands of my own blue family [link added].

Upon first contact, Randy told me ‘you’re not alone anymore’. You see, it’s not the industrial injuries that almost killed me, it’s the betrayal of the ones I believed in that if I did my job well and made it home, they would be there to take care of me and my family. Not only did that not happen, but to find out they were the ones intentionally and maliciously causing me and my family unnecessary pain and suffering and denying medical treatment to one suffering a TBI; that’s a death wish! 

After I sent Randy a LAST MINUTE text informing him I was going to be testifying at the Nevada legislature, he hopped on a plane, supported me, and also testified. 

After the hype and successful passing of SB274, my family and I continued to endure significant retaliation and ramifications from Washoe County that started to lead me back into a very dark hole. Randy was adamant David and I attend the 3rd Annual Law Enforcement Survival Summit and I was adamant not to attend. This is where my healing began!  David and I both had been holding on to survival by a thread and unbeknownst to us TWB team, sponsors, speakers, and attendees provided such a profound safe, secure, and empowering environment David and I began to heal [links added].

To say the least, TWB was an integral part of saving my life.


It’s not enough to sympathize or even empathize with what the workers’ comp system is putting Kim and others through. There must be a solution—there must be change—there must be action, which is what Kim and her allies have done and are doing. 

This also includes changes to the malicious delays in her care that have turned what was initially treatable into what appears to be a lifelong debilitating condition.

Though I’m frustrated and angry with Kim’s story, being solution oriented, I’ve been thinking about how the state could fix it. The best argument for the other side, the government and insurance companies, for fighting some claims, is workers’ comp fraud. It exists and is something which companies like CCMSI must fight but also, perversely, seem to rely on to deny legitimate benefits to injured claimants like Kim.

It seems there needs to be a two-prong approach. What if workers’ comp emphasized a people-centered protocol in which claimants’ injuries are presumed legitimate so the proper, necessary medical treatments can be promptly provided, especially with serious injuries like Kim suffered?  

The state can deal with fraud by bolstering existing laws or creating effective new laws with strict enforcement. Also increase penalties (fines and prison sentences) for those convicted of defrauding the system. Make even thinking about committing workers’ comp fraud Kryptonite to potential fraudsters. And I mean make it prohibitive like—oh, I don’t know—punishment just short of cruel and unusual. 

The sense of propriety in me would like to believe that the sheriff’s office, county admin, and CCMSI have a valid explanation for their hurtful actions in Kim’s case. But my sense of justice wonders what that explanation could possibly be.

Why won’t he tell voters what Kim asks? He seems like a decent guy, reading Storytime to the kids, or is this gesture simply a politician’s performance?

However, in this time of criminal justice leniency by George Soros-funded or -styled prosecutors and other politicians, it can only make Kim’s battle(s) more difficult. Many jurisdictions’ current criminal justice systems aren’t infatuated with making things tougher for criminals, but they don’t mind making things rougher on cops. But that’s not likely to stop Kim—or Sutton and The Wounded Blue. 

With Kim, CCMSI seems to be relying on the fraud issue, which, again, is a legitimate concern, costing taxpayers gobs of money annually. But, as with Kim’s case, the system’s default setting seems to be set to fraud rather than patient care, especially when the cost of care will be high. It has become a guilty until you prove yourself innocent system (and, in Kim’s case, it seems even proof of innocence is not enough).

The Washoe County, NV Sheriff did not respond to a request for comment. CCMSI forwarded a request for comment to a “point of contact,” who has not responded as of publication.