Senator Roth’s Proposal Protecting Law Enforcement Injured in the Line of Duty Approved by California State Assembly

August 22, 2016

(Sacramento, CA) -- Senator Richard D. Roth’s (D-Riverside) proposal to protect peace officers and firefighters catastrophically injured in the line of duty has been approved by the California State Assembly on a bipartisan, unanimous vote of 55-0.

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.

Senator Roth said:  “When a peace 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 heroes are catastrophically injured protecting us, they deserve to know we will have their back.  SB 897 will ensure that those on the frontlines who are catastrophically injured protecting us have more time to recover from their injuries, without the fear of losing critical healthcare and disability benefits.”

Riverside Police Officers’ Association 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.”

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 sustained protecting our homes and families, SB 897 would extend coverage for peace officers and firefighters by one additional year for severe burns; severe bodily injuries resulting from a building collapse; and/or severe bodily injuries resulting from a shooting or stabbing.

Senator Roth continued: “I am proud to have partnered with the Riverside Police Officers Association in crafting this commonsense measure to protect our frontline heroes.  I am confident Governor Brown will recognize how important this measure is for our frontline heroes and will sign SB 897 into law.”

SB 897 now returns to the Senate for a procedural “concurrence” vote.

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