Extending benefits for fallen heroes' children

Posted at 8:11 PM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2019-02-07 17:05:55-05
Patrick Dailey could have retired long before that fateful day in February at the Abingdon Panera Bread where he lost his life, but as a single father, he kept working to support his two boys.
A week after a deranged gunman ambushed the Harford County senior deputy, thousands gathered to say goodbye including Dailey’s sons.
"He was always there for me and for my brother,” said Bryan Dailey, “He was the definition of a good father.  He would literally do anything for us."
But that was not the case with Dailey's pension---something he'd paid into for 30 years that now would provide very limited support to his children.
His friend and state delegate, Rick Impallaria, explains the problem with the current law.
"Deputy Dailey was not married so there was no one to receive his pension and his one son was 17 and would qualify to get the pension for three months and the other man was past the age to receive it, and both young men were still dependent young men living in the father's house," said Impallaria.
That's two young men, one barely out of high school and the other still finishing up his senior year, who would face mortgage payments, utility bills and other expenses just to keep a roof over their heads.
With healthcare systems now accommodating children until they're 26 years old, Impallaria says he felt the pension for a fallen officer should do the same, and his proposed legislation just cleared the house and is heading to the senate without opposition.
"We've had full support and a real outreaching from all the elected officials across the state understanding not only what happened to us, but also what's happened in Prince George's County.  It's very sad for our police officers," said the delegate, "Not only do we need to honor these law enforcement officers, but we need to take care of their families and not forget the sacrifice they made."
The bill's sponsor says the costs of a more generous policy towards the fallen heroes' children are negligible, since there are so few of them, and also recognize a changing dynamic in the makeup of families these heroes leave behind.