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State to pick up tab on health benefits for families of fallen police, firefighters under proposal



Police families would be covered under legislation getting a public hearing in Madison this week.

The proposal would have the state paying health insurance benefits to families when police officers and firefighters die on the job.

It’s the right thing to do, says Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.

“An officer, when they fall in the line of duty, we just don’t think their family should have to be left to grieve and have to fend for themselves with respect to a basic need such as health insurance,” Palmer said.

The benefits would continue if necessary until a spouse remarries or turns 65 and until children of a fallen officer turn 26.

“The law enforcement profession is one that requires the support of their loved ones and this bill recognizes that effectively,” Palmer said.

The bill essentially includes police under the coverage that firefighters have already enjoyed.

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