STATEHOUSE (Jan. 15, 2020) – The House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to approve State Rep. Mayfield’s (R-Martinsville) legislation making school resource officers eligible for special death benefits like those of police officers killed in the line of duty.
She said school resource officers typically come from local police or sheriff departments, and law enforcement is entitled to a “death in the line of duty” benefit. But there are instances where the resource officer has completed all the requisite training and is not employed by a law enforcement agency.
“The amazing resource officers placed in our schools face real dangers that put their lives at risk,” Mayfield said. “Whether it’s in response to a natural disaster, a campus incident or the dreaded active shooter, these officers are on the front lines when it comes to protecting our students, teachers and staff.”
According to Mayfield, resource officers who aren’t already eligible for a line-of-duty benefit under various state pension and disability funds for police officers and firefighters will qualify.
“This is a continuation of my police reserve officer bill from 2017, bringing parity to emergency responders who may wear different labels, but ultimately perform the same duties” Mayfield said. “While it is my sincerest wish that this legislation is never used, it’s imperative that our school resource officers and their families receive the same benefit as other law enforcement officials when it comes to putting their lives on the line protecting our citizens.”
House Bill 1151 now moves to the House floor for further discussion.
State Rep. Peggy Mayfield (R-Martinsville) represents House District 60,
which includes portions of Morgan and Monroe counties.
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