SUPPORT PASSAGE OF SB1759 RESPECTFULLY KNOWN AS “MANNY’S LAW”
Chairman Gordon, Chairman Brady and Members of the Public Service Committee,
Please accept this letter as the written testimony of the New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA) on behalf of our law enforcement members from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with regards to SB1759 – An Act providing health insurance coverage to the surviving children of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
The NEPBA represents police and support personnel in more than 125 bargaining units from across the Commonwealth. Our members span the Commonwealth – they are from both large and small departments in Western, Central and Eastern Massachusetts Police Departments, all the way to the tip of Cape Cod. They are law enforcement working for our UMASS system protecting our students and university communities. The NEPBA family also includes the hard-working corrections officers and civilian staff in Middlesex County, Worcester County, Norfolk County and Plymouth County. Our locals represent the very best of Massachusetts’ working families and are dedicated and devoted public servants. I write to you on behalf of these members, and on behalf of their families. When a police officer or firefighter gives his or her life protecting and serving the citizens of Massachusetts, then he or she has made the ultimate sacrifice.
And, we as a commonwealth should respect, honor and remember that sacrifice. One of the most important ways of doing that, is to provide for his or her family. This bill does that by extending their health insurance coverage to the fallen officer’s or firefighter’s children. It is the respectful thing to do. It is the honorable thing to do. And, it is the right thing to do.
The NEPBA respectfully thanks you for your consideration and respectfully requests that this bill be reported out of committee favorably and shall be known as “Manny’s Law” in reference to the heroic actions that ultimately took the life of Worcester Police Officer Enmanual Familia as he attempted to rescue a 14 year old drowning victim. Officer Familia was the father of two teenage children and a dedicated and well respected police officer and coach in the City of Worcester.
“Manny” as he was fondly called by his friends and colleagues gave his life attempting to protect a complete stranger and without regards for his own personal safety. Now, his two children are also victims of this horrific tragedy and no longer have a father to provide for and to protect them. Therefore, we implore this committee and the Massachusetts Legislature as a whole to take care of “Manny’s Children” with the passage of “Manny’s Law”.
Jerry Flynn, Executive Director
New England Police Benevolent Association