ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The vote to extend Abilene Police Department’s (APD) Officer Mary Guitar’s paid administrative leave narrowly passed through Abilene City Council Thursday, by a vote of 4-3. Guitar’s attorney, Zach Horn, pleaded her case before council, asserting that given her immense mental burden, more time is needed to recover from her 2020 attack while in the line of duty.

“These problems are too often dealt with in the shadows, or even worse, they’re not dealt with at all,” Horn said.

APD’s Chief of Police, Marcus Dudley Jr., requested that the extension be denied. Chief Dudley laid out the department’s stance during the Abilene City Council meeting, that given her past actions including outbursts of anger, and relapses in her Chemical dependency and substance abuse, extending her leave may not be beneficial.

“I think it’s important that we point out all the things that the City has done up to this point…We need to do something different,” said Chief Dudley.

Upon hearing of Officer Guitar’s situation, local therapist Erika Yourdan reached out to shed light on the matter.

“For somebody to admit they have a problem and get help, knowing that it could lead to termination at some point, is incredibly courageous,” Yourdan said.

The four-month request, according to Yourdan, falls right in line with recovery standards for those with a chemical dependency.

“Supportive resources are recommended through the 18-month mark after the initial sobriety,” explained Yourdan.

Those resources would put Officer Guitar, who Horn told KTAB/KRBC is now one year sober, just six months short of that window – justifying a longer recovery period, Yourdan advised.

Abilene therapist, Yourdan continued, “One evening of her life is going to take years of investment in her healing.”

Even still, Horn said he sees Thursday’s vote as a victory for his client, and for those still struggling who’ve yet to speak out.

“Officer Guitar is looking very forward to resuming her full duties as an Abilene police officer,” Horn added. “She feels that if one other first responders finds strength in her courage to address these issues publicly, then today will have been completely worth it.”