FLORIDA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
by C Bullins
November 24, 2014
Original November 22, 2014
Senator Hays filed Senate Bill 136, a bill that will pay the spouse, child or parent of a state officer or firefighter who is employed with the state and killed in the line of duty, monthly installments equal to the officers salary at the time of his or her death. A spouse will receive the benefit for his or her lifetime, a child until 18 years of age or 25 if enrolled in school full-time or if the officer has no spouse or child, then a parent for 5 years.
This is a much needed Bill that should be supported, however it requires an amendment. The Bill excludes corrections and correctional probation officers. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page website, between 1955 to the present, 21 Corrections/Correctional Probation Officers employed by the Florida Department of Corrections have lost their lives in the line of duty. Of the numerous state agencies that employee FDLE Certified Officers (law enforcement, corrections, correctional probation), only one agency has recorded more in the line of duty deaths than the Florida Department of Corrections which is the Florida Highway Patrol.
For this Bill to move forward without the inclusion of corrections and correctional probation officers would be unpatriotic, demoralizing and grossly unjust. The men and women who work in our prisons with inmates and in the community with felony offenders are true public servants that put themselves in harms way everyday for a safer community. The demoralization that these officers have had to endure these last few years by being treated as second-class officers must stop. The officers go into work and face equal risk and they and their families should have the dignity and protection of equal pay and protections. Please call Senator Hays office in Tallahassee at (850) 487-5011 or his district office at (352) 360-6739 or (352) 241-9344 and ask him to do the right thing by amending SB 136 to include corrections and correctional probation officers. Also contact your Senator to ask for their support to an amendment.
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