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Governor Patrick Signs Line of Duty Act Increasing Death Benefits

Bill passed through House and Senate following the recent deaths of Boston Fire Lt. Edward Walsh, Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Plymouth Police Officer Gregg Maloney.

Governor Patrick is joined by Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert to DeLeo to sign the Line of Duty Act. Photo Credit: Spencer Crispino/Governor's Office
Governor Patrick is joined by Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert to DeLeo to sign the Line of Duty Act. Photo Credit: Spencer Crispino/Governor's Office

Governor Deval Patch has signed the “Line of Duty Act” increasing the death benefit of public safety employees killed in the line of duty to $150,000, a $50,000 increase to the original amount that remained unchanged since the law passed in 1994.

The Governor was joined at the bill signing by Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

“I am honored to sign the Line of Duty Act to ensure that our first responders and public safety officials killed serving and protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth are appropriately cared for,” said Governor Patrick in a statement released Friday morning. 

The bill passed through the House and Senate following the deaths of Boston Fire Lieutenant Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy, and Plymouth Police Officer Gregg Maloney.

“I am proud of the Legislature for providing much-needed support for the families of Lieutenant Walsh, Firefighter Kennedy and Officer Maloney,” said Senate President Murray. “We will always be grateful to these brave men for dedicating their lives to public service and keeping the people of Massachusetts safe. Moving forward will be very difficult for their families and this is the least that we can do for them. As Reverend John Unni said during the firefighters services, we have to take care of each other and this is our opportunity to take care of the families.”

“Every day, I am awed and grateful for the sacrifices firefighters, police and their families make for us,” said Speaker DeLeo. “As we pray for the courageous individuals who recently perished we must ensure the families of enforcement officials faced with tragedy receive the support they so rightly deserve. I’m proud to join with Senate President Murray and Governor Patrick for today’s bill signing.”
BH April 11, 2014 at 04:59 PM
And why not dpw, highway and transmission line workers? They face real danger everyday and allow people to have electricity, indoor plumbing/sewer and roadways. Why is this only for fire fighters and police? This is also a PR stunt, $50k is great but it will not go very far at all.
paul April 12, 2014 at 06:37 AM
This is a nice knee jerk reaction but like BH says above, now everyone will want an increase. How about me in the private sector, can I get an increase? How about mom & dad taxpayer? Can we get some kind of tax break or relief in this dead economy? Every city gets grant money, every public employee & politician gets COLA increases and raises while folks in the real world struggle.
BH April 12, 2014 at 07:37 AM
I hate police and fire being treated as royalty and more important than other people, we are all humans, they get fairly compensated for their time and they chose their profession, they weren't forced. Why they get special treatment, I'll never know, people get killed at their jobs everyday. I'm also positive most have life insurance for their families, dumb if they don't.
Bjean April 12, 2014 at 02:26 PM
Wow, you posters are truly hateful! Because firemen and women are running into a burning building to rescue you and your families when you need help! And because the police would be willing to put themsrlves in harms way to keep you and the public safe and out of harms way! Show a little compassion for the first responders and the families left behind when they die in a burning building or take a bullet trying to help YOU!
BH April 12, 2014 at 03:11 PM
Oh please, so there are no other professions that risk their lives for your benefit? Power line workers, rescue pilots, highway workers, steel workers? They face far more danger on a daily basis for the benefit of the public. There is also never talk of procedural investigations when police or firemen die. It's just "they are heroes" maybe so, but were they justified, was it procedure to enter that building or pull their weapon? Everything is glossed over based on the glorification of the position.

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