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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The news story about the Call Firefighter who was KIA and received no benefits from the town raised this thought in my head. I expect it to be controversial.

If a part-time, reserve, special, auxiliary PO (working for the town or donating their time) is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, should they be covered by the town with some sort of insurance/pension for widows/orphans? That is the question.

When I was a Special/Reserve PO for my town, the chief told me flat out that the town wouldn't cover us for any injury (or worse) in any way. I used to donate probably 3-400 hours/year plus work details/shifts when needed (only if no Regular PO took them) back in the day when we were really used to augment the PD. I spent 17 years doing this and wouldn't have quit except for the current chief who came into town (from outside) and disarmed us (we qualified 2x/year just like the FT POs, all had graduated MCJTC Reserve/Intermittent Academy, did In Service training monthly and were CPR/First Responders) and took away our powers of arrest. BTW, this chief wanted us to ride patrol with Regular POs, unarmed and with no powers! At that point over 50% of us (there were 35 PT officers) resigned.

The only officer to die on the job in our town was a Special PO (more than 30 yrs ago) who was struck by a car while directing traffic.

Some officers appreciated our help, while others hated our very existence! We weren't allowed to join MPA or anything else that could have given us legal/disability/life insurance benefits. I KNOW that the Regular POs here would never lift a finger to help one of the Special/Reserve POs if they were injured/killed on the job (unlike what the FD did in Lancaster). [To wit: A good friend was a full time PO here for 27+ years, forced retirement after getting rear-ended when he stopped the cruiser to let a lady cross the street. He was very seriously injured by the dashboard radar unit that went airborne, causing him brain damage, etc. The town only had $30K/employee insurance and he was left with over $100K in bills to pay himself!! The town did NOTHING to help him.]

As I understand it there is a state or federal law that provides something like $100K payment to widows/orphans if any LEO/Firefighter (I think FF is included) is killed on the job. But that doesn't go very far in today's world if someone leaves a Wife and kids (or they get nothing if he becomes disabled).

There is a move afoot to do something legislatively for Call Firefighters after the Lancaster incident.

What do folks here think? Should there be something similar for fallen PT LEOs?

Here's a link to the Firefighter story:
http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/3899778/detail.html
 

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I know the places here in VT where I worked part-time, and did some shifts for free I was covered by workmans comp for injuries. As far as death, I would have only been covered by the Fed. Governments fund.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know the places here in VT where I worked part-time, and did some shifts for free I was covered by workmans comp for injuries. As far as death, I would have only been covered by the Fed. Governments fund.
Towns in MA did not have to carry WC or pay into SS, thus they didn't have them. [Laws may have changed some since the early 1990s, if so I am unaware of any changes.] Our town is "self insuring" on some insurance (vehicles, perhaps other areas as well). I know (from my friend who was injured maybe 6-7 years ago) about the $30K cap (and that was for FT POs only).
 

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If you are being compensated for you time they should cover you. If you are strictly volunteer then no, the town is clearly not offering any compensation for your service.
 

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If you are being compensated for you time they should cover you. If you are strictly volunteer then no, the town is clearly not offering any compensation for your service.
ditto!
 

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Why should it matter if you're getting paid or not?

If you die in the line of duty while working within the realm of your assigned position, paid or not, then your family should be compensated just like any other Officers family would be.

Just because they serve their community without receiving a paycheck doesn't lessen the meaning of their service and time to the community.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BTW, the town wouldn't cover us if we were injured/killed on the job REGARDLESS of whether we were volunteering or PAID to work a detail/shift!

Personally, I don't think it should matter if you are paid or not, but our town (and perhaps many others) doesn't discriminate . . . if you are not FT, you get screwed whether paid or not! :(

So back to the question . . . should the towns/state make some provision for a large payout or pension in case of death/critical injury for PT LEOs?
 

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If an officer (special, P/T, Campus, F/T, SP, etc...) is killed or seriously injured on-duty their families should be compensated financially so they do not suffer because their got killed/seriously injured performing a service to the community. A service that the majority of the nieve public would not do and has no idea what the job is like, but criticizes like they are experts.

Regarding the Lancaster issue which got this topic going, I say it should be extended to all firefighters as well. There are many towns within the state that use strictly on-call or volunteers so lets not let them hang without any protection.

The state should establish a fund for this purpose. realistically, the amount of line of duty deaths in both professions within this state are not that staggering, although one is obviously too many in terms of losing a brother/sister officer or firefighter. The funding should be cut for the amenities that all the nitwits in prison, take the salary that Mitt and Kerry Healy donate, and other rediculous items money is spent on and use it to start a fund. If enough money is put in initially and invested the proper way or put in an account with a high return, it will increase until needed.

If each of the 351 cities/towns contributed an initial $10,000 plus the state chips in that would be a $3,510,000 to start off. Set a limit that can be provided to surviving spouses/family between $500,000 and $750,000 in an annuity. I mean, really cities and towns are spending a lot more money on much more absurd items. This could happen if the politicians just think it out :roll:
 

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I feel that some provision should be made to any volunteer, whether LE or FF who is killed or injured in the line of duty. Massachusetts should step up to the plate on this issue and make a law providing families with some sort of assistance. I'm a fulltime officer and don't have to really worry about my family being taken care of, however anyone in our field should have the same protection for doing this job.
 

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I agree 100% that if a reserve PO, etc.. gets hurt or killed in the line of duty the town should pay. Im a full time Federal LEO and a Reserve in a town, so I rely on my full time insurance but I would like the town to do something if I was hurt or killed on there time. Now on the other hand if the State did put something in writing that the towns would have to be responsible, what is to stop the towns from getting rid of P/T, reserve, etc.. to not have to deal with the hastle or the worry. My .02
 

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Does anyone remember several years ago when a FT police officer was working a paid detail and died after suffering a heart attack. I don't clearly remember all the details but I think he left the detail site to help someone else and over exerted or something. Long and short of it, I remember the decision was landmark because when working for a contractor (which is what a paid detail is) you are not subject to death benefits from the city/town. If someone remembers this story better maybe you could find it and post the actual decision. Thanks-
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree 100% that if a reserve PO, etc.. gets hurt or killed in the line of duty the town should pay. Im a full time Federal LEO and a Reserve in a town, so I rely on my full time insurance but I would like the town to do something if I was hurt or killed on there time. Now on the other hand if the State did put something in writing that the towns would have to be responsible, what is to stop the towns from getting rid of P/T, reserve, etc.. to not have to deal with the hastle or the worry. My .02
No doubt some towns would bail on the PT LEOs, but that is there loss! Due to "liability concerns" our town dumped the PT program (after it existed for about 40 years that I know of). Net result is that they now hire out-of-town LEOs to work road jobs or leave them unfilled. Large events like July 4th where we'd have 35-40 LEOs to cover the town celebration now have 5-10 LEOs (there are 4-5 PT LEOs now in a new program, all on civil service list awaiting FT appointments), 1/2 of which are FT paid and 1/2 freebies. They use lots of DPW horses and hope that people don't drive around them and endanger the 20K pedestrians.

I know of a number of other towns that dumped the program, afraid of liability. Actual deaths/critical injuries are statistically not significant. Even with no program, the towns are always subject to lawsuits by the fallen officer's family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Operating a police or fire department with out LODD/Serious injurey benifets should be criminal
:2c:
Agreed! But MGLs only require $30K life insurance for fallen LEO/FFs. So, that is exactly all that our town provides! I don't think many towns are much different.

I think if you folks check you'll find that most of your life insurance benefit is probably provided thru your union or associations, not thru your municipality.

Sad!
 

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I mean, really cities and towns are spending a lot more money on much more absurd items. This could happen if the politicians just think it out
The town of Danvers spends $28,000 on "specialy" trained collie to chase geese from the town parks. :roll:
 

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USMCTROOPER wrote:
Does anyone remember several years ago when a FT police officer was working a paid detail and died after suffering a heart attack. I don't clearly remember all the details but I think he left the detail site to help someone else and over exerted or something. Long and short of it, I remember the decision was landmark because when working for a contractor (which is what a paid detail is) you are not subject to death benefits from the city/town. If someone remembers this story better maybe you could find it and post the actual decision.
While I don't remember the case law specifically, my father-in-law suffered a heart attack while on a detail back in 1999 (F/T municipal Sgt). He survived only because two paramedics were on their lunch break across the street and saw him collapse. Shortly after that he went out on the heart bill (72%). The way it was explained to me was that, if he were to die of a heart related illness, my mother-in-law would still collect. Hope this helps.
 

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Why should it matter if you're getting paid or not?

If you die in the line of duty while working within the realm of your assigned position, paid or not, then your family should be compensated just like any other Officers family would be.

Just because they serve their community without receiving a paycheck doesn't lessen the meaning of their service and time to the community.
The differance is simple. Parttime or reserve officers who are being paid are providing a required service for the municipality. That's why they're being paid. Volunteer officers (auxiliary) are being "allowed" to "play" cop. The municipality should not be liable for someone's "hobby"
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
[quote="texdep @ Mon Nov 15, 17:22
The differance is simple. Parttime or reserve officers who are being paid are providing a required service for the municipality. That's why they're being paid. Volunteer officers (auxiliary) are being "allowed" to "play" cop. The municipality should not be liable for someone's "hobby"[/quote]

Yup, I was playing for 17 years when I was REQUIRED to "volunteer" 8-16 hours over the 4th of July town festivities each year. It was such "play" that I had to get special permission to "skip playing" one year so that I could join the Family in celebrating my late Mother-in-Law's 65th Birthday Party! The rest of the 30+ PT'rs "playing cop" all those years were just screwing around and not providing any real value to the town (when the crowds exceeded the total population of the town).

In many towns PT POs are REQUIRED to "play cop" by directing traffic every Sunday after church services, perform crowd and traffic control at parades, town functions. NONE of these are paid jobs for PT POs and they are required if you want to be allowed to work any paid details/shifts or keep the badge.

So if any of us got hurt or killed, just TS and our families should just "suck it up" and move on, right?

I won't apologize for my sarcasm here! I saw attitudes like yours from certain FT officers over the years. [The most hard headed FT officer I ever worked with retired after an on-the-job injury and operation ~18 months ago. Very interesting that one of the first things he did was apply for and get appointed as a PT PO so that he could suck up the details. It'll be interesting when they ask him to "play" for free during town events!] Wearing a badge makes anyone a target, even if all we are doing is "playing"! The perps won't care if they shoot/knife one of us or one of your FT gang . . . we all bleed red!

In my case, my late Chief demanded (he never asked, he was a Marine :) ) that I join the Special/Reserve Police. He required us to ride patrol with the FT POs (best training you can get), we worked the job just like the FT'rs only we weren't paid to be there. Neither my Wife nor my Family were thrilled with the risks that we took to "play cop", but some of us actually wanted to help our community while others were trying to get exposure/experience to get hired as FT'rs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was told that 111f applies to part time officers. Chapter 41: Section 111F
You made me look it up! :rd:

Well here it is:
http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/41-111f.htm

Chapter 41: Section 111F Leave with pay for incapacitated employees

Section 111F. Whenever a police officer or fire fighter of a city, town, or fire or water district is incapacitated for duty because of injury sustained in the performance of his duty without fault of his own, or a police officer or fire fighter assigned to special duty by his superior officer, whether or not he is paid for such special duty by the city or town, is so incapacitated because of injuries so sustained, he shall be granted leave without loss of pay for the period of such incapacity . . .

Bottom line is if my "normal pay" from the town is $0.00, that is all that this section requires that they pay me while disabled. Sorry, this does nothing for the volunteer OR the PT that was hurt/killed working a paid shift/detail. This is indeed what my late Chief told me when he explained our liability and that if we were hurt, the town would pay us nothing (our "normal pay").
 

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Hey Tex, So just because someone is serving without compensation they are "playing cop" as a "hobby?" So, getting back to fire service, I guess you'd say that volunteer firefighters are just "playing fireman" as a "hobby?" I hope you think hard on it the next time a vounteer firefighter shows up on one of your MVAs or a volunteer rescue squad member pulls a little girl out of a wrecked car or a volunteer EMT saves a loved one... or the next time an auxiliary or reserve officer goes on-scene as your cover officer... Just because they are not getting paid does not mean they are any less professional, or devoted to saving lives as you are!!
 
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