Senator Roth’s Proposal Protecting Law Enforcement Injured in the Line of Duty Approved by Senate Committee

April 07, 2016

Senator Richard D. Roth’s (D-Riverside) proposal to protect police officers and firefighters catastrophically injured in the line of duty has been approved by the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on a bipartisan vote of 4-0.

Senate Bill 897 provides an extension of workers’ compensation benefits to police and firefighters, providing an additional year of healing time for those who are catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

“When a police officer is shot in the line of duty, when a firefighter takes a beam to the back protecting our homes and families, whenever our public safety officials are catastrophically injured protecting us, they deserve to know we will have their back.” said Senator Roth.  “SB 897 will ensure that our frontline heroes who are catastrophically injured have more time to recover from their injuries, without the fear of losing critical healthcare and disability benefits.”

On February 7, 2013, Officers Michael Crain and Andrew Tachias were gunned down while on patrol in the City of Riverside.  Officer Crain lost his life, and although Officer Tachias survived the shooting, his physical recovery would take longer than the one year of paid leave police officers and firefighters are eligible for when they are temporarily or permanently disabled due to injury.

Understanding that this may not be enough time to recover from some of the worst injuries these men and women unfortunately suffer, SB 897 would extend coverage by one additional year for catastrophic injuries, defined as:

  • Severe burns;
  • Severe bodily injuries resulting from a building collapse; and/or
  • Severe bodily injuries resulting from a shooting or stabbing.

RPOA President Brian C. Smith said: “RPOA is proud to sponsor SB 897, a commonsense measure that will protect frontline officers throughout California.  We thank Senator Roth for standing up for law enforcement by championing this important measure and look forward to continuing to work with him on this very important issue.”

Senator Roth continued: “I am proud to have partnered with the Riverside Police Officers Association in crafting this important measure and am looking forward to sending SB 897 to the Governor for his signature.”

SB 897 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.