Incresing benefits for fallen officers

BOSTON (WWLP) — A Springfield lawmaker has filed a bill that increases benefits to families of fallen police officers and firefighters.

State Representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera (D-Springfield) has filed a bill that increases death benefits to families of public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty.

The legislation does that by giving an automatic promotion to police officers or firefighters who die while on the job. Their families or beneficiaries would then receive greater pension benefits, as they would have received if their loved one had lived and progressed in rank during their career.

Coakley-Rivera says the bill will relieve some the financial strain on families of fallen officers.

“This is just to help them out. This is really to say, ‘listen, we understand that you know financially, you could, everyone could be strained’ and this is another way for us to compensate the family for their loss,” she said.

The bill would apply to officers who died after December 1, 2010 That would mean that the families of Springfield Officer Kevin Ambrose , Woburn Officer John Maguire , and State Trooper Ellen Engelhardt .

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