Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) has filed an amendment in the supplemental budget that the Senate adopted today. It will provide pension benefits for the family of Worcester Police Officer Manny Familia and close a loop hole in the statute that prohibited families of police officers from receiving the in-line duty death benefit. This comes in the wake of the tragic death of Officer Familia, recently lost his life, while trying to rescue a drowning teenager from Green Hill Pond. Neither Officer Familia nor the child survived the incident.
“Officer Manny Familia tragically died while heroically trying to save the life of teenager, and it’s only right that his family receive the line of duty benefit that they deserve,” said Senator Moore, “This was an important change to ensure parity in line of duty benefits for police officers who make the ultimate sacrifice. I want to thank the Worcester Police Department for bringing this loophole in the law to my attention and I am grateful for the support of many of my colleagues and Senate leadership for passing this amendment today.”
“I am thankful that this amendment will ensure that the family of Officer Familia can access the benefits of his pension after he lost his life trying to save another,” said Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “I am grateful for Officer Familia’s service to the City of Worcester, and I keep his family in my thoughts and prayers.”
“My heart goes out to the family of Officer Enmanuel Familia, whose brave and courageous act tragically led to his death,” stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “I am proud to support this change so that the family of Officer Familia and the families of other police officers may receive line of duty benefits and feel secure even during a difficult time. I want to thank Senator Michael Moore for highlighting and advocating for this important reform and look forward to it being signed into law.”
“The unanimous adoption of Senator Moore’s amendment by the Senate today to ensure that the same line of duty death benefits available for firefighters are also available for police officers is a common-sense step to properly honor the sacrifices made by heroes like Officer Familia and his family,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Thank you to Senator Moore for his leadership on this issue, and to my colleagues in the Senate for taking swift action to close this loophole and make sure the families of officers who die in the line of duty are treated fairly.”
“I want to thank the state legislature for swiftly taking up this issue to swiftly ensure that Officer Familia’s wife and children will be secure in their future,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “This is one small way that we can work together to lessen the suffering of that family during this difficult time.”
“From my colleagues on the City Council to Senator Michael Moore and our state delegation I am grateful for all their efforts to quickly get this in the line of duty death benefit addressed” said
Moe Bergman of the Worcester City Council.
As Section 100 of Chapter 32 of the General Laws is written, if a police officer dies in the line of duty, their spouse is paid a pension that is equal to the amount of salary which would have been paid to the police officer. However, only certain incidents that lead to the death of a police officer qualify their family to receive this benefit. Due to the circumstances of Officer Familia’s death, his family would be prohibited from receiving the line of duty death benefit. Senator Moore’s amendment introduced a common-sense update to the line of duty death benefits to ensure any officer who dies in the line of duty is eligible for the benefits they earned.