The Volunteer Peace Officer's Benefit bill (VPOB) will provide cash benefits and medical care for volunteer peace officers (VPO) who are injured or become ill in the line of duty. This bill recognizes the unselfish service of volunteer peace officers by providing protection if they become ill or injured in the line of duty.   The VPOB will cover the VPO appointed by a county, city, town or village under the following situations:   -Participation in an authorized incident or emergency while on VPO active status -Travel to or from an emergency or other authorized activities while on VPO active status  -While working at the VPO facility/station on official duties -Attendance at authorized VPO training -Participation at authorized parades, tournaments, contests and other public exhibitions -Attending an authorized VPO convention or conference -Attending authorized VPO meetings -Participating in authorized fitness training -Participating in authorized fund raising activities   What is not covered:   -Participation  and practice in any recreational of social activity not involved with fundraising. -Work rendered for a private employer, public corporation or special district -Work rendered while on a leave of absence, suspended from duty or the VPO was ordered not to perform -Competitive events in which the VPO is a competitor.  

CASH BENEFIT   Cash benefits will be payable to the VPO if the injury occurs at the municipality/county where the VPO is appointed or an area where mutual aid is  provided by the VPO. The amount of the VPO weekly cash benefit will be determined by whether the VPO is totally or partially disabled. When the injury is not considered a total disability, weekly benefits are based on the VPO's ability to perform work at their regular employment or a reasonable substitute if there is no employment. Cash benefits are paid the first day of disability with no waiting period and medical care is provided without regard to the length of the disability.     WEEKLY CASH BENEFIT- Total disability $400 per week , partial disability $280 per week ($21,000 per year for total disability, $15,000 per year for partial disability) PAYMENTS ARE TAX FREE.   SUPPLEMENTAL BENEFITS   Widows and widowers receiving a death benefit are eligible for a supplemental benefit of up to $215 per week  

DEATH BENEFITS
  If a VPO dies from an a duty related injury, the surviving spouse and/or minor children under the age of 18 or other dependants defined by law will receive a weekly cash benefit. If the minor child is enrolled in an accredited educational institution the child will received the benefit up to the age of 25.   Surviving spouses with no dependent children will receive from $887 to $1102 per week ($46,000 to $57,000 per year) TAX FREE.   Surviving spouses with dependent children will receive a smaller weekly benefit. In addition to the spouses weekly cash benefit, each child will receive a weekly benefit from $887 to $1102 per week.   Surviving spouses who remarry with no surviving children will receive a lump sum payment of $92,219.   Surviving spouses who remarry and have dependent children will received a smaller lump sum payment. The children will receive the weekly payment of between $887 to $1102 per week.    

MEDICAL CARE, REHABILITATION AND SOCIAL WORK
  The injured VPO will receive necessary medical care directly related to the duty injury or illness the recovery from disability. The VPO is free to chose any licensed medical practitioner, outpatient clinic of a hospital or health maintenance organization. The doctor may not collect a fee from the patient.   The injured VPO will receive social services, vocational rehabilitation, selective job placement if permanently disabled and medical rehabilitation to help the injured VPO reduce the disability, help the injured VPO return to work or aid the injured VPO live and work to their maximum capacity. The injured VPO will continue to received the cash benefit while disabled and receiving treatment and services. 

Funeral expenses The VPO's family will receive a maximum of $6,700 for funeral expenses.  If the VPO dies from injuries received in the line of duty, funeral expenses over $6,700 will be approved.

Lump Sum Benefit-The surviving will receive a lump sum payment of $56,000. These are in addition to all other benefits provided.

IF THIS BILL BECOMES LAW, THE SPOUSE/DEPENDANT OF A VPO WHO DIES IN THE LINE OF DUTY WILL RECEIVE UP TO:

FEDERAL PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER BENEFIT ACT:                                       $303,064
NY VPO DISABILITY LAW LUMP SUM:                                                                      $56,000
MINIMUM WEEKLY SPOUSE BENEFIT P/YR                                                           $46,000
MINIMUM WEEKLY BENEFIT FOR ONE DEPENDENT:                                         $46,000
LUMP SUM PAYMENT TO SURVIVING SPOUSE WHO REMARRIES:               $92,219
TOTAL MINIMUM PAYMENT TO SURVIVING SPOUSE WHO-
REMARRIES WITH ONE DEPENDENT:                                                                  $543,283

TOTAL MINIMUM PAYMENT TO THE FAMILY OF A VOLUNTEER PEACE OFFICER WHO DIES IN THE LINE OF DUTY IF THIS BILL DOES NOT PASS:

                     
ZERO!

    Since the VPO bill is copied from the Volunteer FF benefit law, the following link should be helpful
http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/main/firefighters/VFAWLawIntro.jsp  

In addition this bill states "Upon successful completion of all required classes and tests, the applicant will be registered with the division as a volunteer peace officer and will have the legal status of a peace officer while performing authorized activities within the duties assigned by the local municipality."   As we all know the two Auxiliary Police Officers would not have received the FEDERAL PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER BENEFIT if it were not for public outcry and support of  Senator Charles E. Schumer. Auxiliary Police need to be recognized as Peace Officers while on duty ... even if their orders are only to observe & report.       

Please call, write, send e-mail, what ever you need to do to contact your elected officials, and ask them to support the bill.