COLUMBUS- State Rep. John M. Rogers (D- Mentor-on-the-Lake) will soon introduce the “Jason Gresko Act,” a bill to grant benefits to families of part-time police officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty.


“This legislation is long overdue,” said Rep. Rogers. “Every year brave police officers and firefighters give the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community. An assailant, a drunken driver or a bullet does not choose its victims based on their full-time or part-time position. When these individuals perish protecting us, their families deserve to taken care of.” 


There is currently no death benefit granted by the state to the families of part-time police officers who killed while serving the community.  This legislation modifies the definition of a Public Safety Officer to include any certified police officer, as listed in one of the above capacities, who while working, is killed or dies as a result of injuries or illness sustained in the performance of his or her duties.  The benefit for the family of one of these officers will be based on an annual salary equivalent to the State's published minimum wage. When there are eligible children involved, their benefit would mimic the existing distribution schedule as set per statute.  It is believed that the funding necessary to include the families of these individuals should not require any significant increase in the States GRF allocation. Family members of part-time firefighters receive an initial $1,000 payment with a monthly benefit thereafter of $300. The bill modifies this benefit to mirror what would be put in place for police officers. 


The bill is named after Willoughby Police Officer Jason Gresko, who, on Friday September 21, 2012, was hit by a drunk driver and killed while responding to a request for assistance at Lake West Hospital located in Lake County Ohio. 


The bill will soon be introduced, and it is currently being circulated to gain support from members of the House.  

 
 
 
  
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