SCOTT COUNTY, Miss.–The families of first responders who die from COVID should get money, says state Rep. Tom Miles. He represents Scott County and is proposing that the situation should be treated as a line of duty death.
“It’s the least we can do to honor their memories. They did put their lives on the line to try to keep us all healthy and safe during this time period,” said Miles, in an interview with WLBT-TV.
Some of those officers did more than that. Two Mississippi sheriffs were part of the over 100 police officer deaths across the country so far this year from COVID.
Law enforcement and first responders sometimes have to have direct contact with people, regardless of their COVID status, and sometimes not knowing whether they have coronavirus. In addition, jails have been areas of high COVID spread, which makes working there an extra danger the officers face.
Miles said money from the American Rescue Plan would be used. Currently in Mississippi, the families of law enforcement officers killed on the job get $100,000.
“We would take the federal money the state is receiving from the last recovery act to pay for the benefits, where it doesn’t cost the state anything, but makes these families whole at the same time,” said Miles.
Miles plans to bring the proposal up when the legislature meets in January.