U.S. Rep Michael Capuano has reintroduced the “Sean Collier Bill,” a proposed law that would give the families of campus police officers killed in the line of duty the same benefits as those of regular community officers.
“It doesn’t happen that often, but when a campus police officer is killed in the line of duty, they are doing the exact same job a regular police officer is doing, so they should get the same benefits and the same respect,” Capuano said this morning on Boston Herald Radio. “Right now, there is an anomaly in the rules that basically says ‘if you are a campus police officer (and killed in the line of duty), somehow it doesn’t count. Of course, I think that’s wrong.
“I don’t think it was intended, I just think it was an oversight at the time,” he added.
The bill, the full name of which is the “Officer Sean Collier Campus Police Recognition Act of 2016”, is co-sponsored by the entire Massachusetts congressional delegation and is named for Sean Collier, an MIT officer who was killed by the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 18, 2013.
The law would be retroactive to April 15, 2013, the day of the bombings. It would add campus officers to the Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officer benefits program, which currently covers police officers, firefighters and EMTs and provides benefits to family members.
Capuano is a Somerville native and a former mayor of that city. Collier had aspired to join the city’s police force, and was posthumously sworn in as a Somerville police officer in August of 2013.