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Rep. Miles calls for “line of duty” death benefits for first responders who die from COVID-19

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A Mississippi lawmaker is drafting legislation to ensure that the families of first responders who pass away from COVID-19 will receive the same compensation that a family would receive should their loved one be killed in the line of duty. 

Rep. Tom Miles shared his request for a bill that would provide these families with the “$100,000 normally due them from the State when their loved ones die in the line of duty.” Miles stated his push for the bill comes after a recent ruling from the State Department of Public Safety that determined COVID-19 was not a “line of duty death”.

“My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones to this terrible, unrelenting virus. We are surely living in a time when the words “Be ye kind, one to another” should be our shared creed. Let’s all do what we can to make it so,” Miles said in a Facebook post. 

Miles noted that former President Donald Trump signed a bill that does includes COVID deaths as “line-of-duty” deaths and that federal benefits are paid out under the Public Safety Officers Benefits Act.

Currently, COVID-19 is the leading cause of death among the law enforcement community nationwide. In Mississippi, several first responders have succumbed to the virus in recent months, including Hinds County Sheriff Lee Vance, Yalobusha County Sheriff Mark Fulco, Jackson Police Officer Bryan Pippin and George County Deputy Bobby Daffin. 

Sharing the details of the potential legislation, Miles said that healthcare workers who pass away from the virus would also be included. 

The full post can be seen below:

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