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Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Representing Norwalk & Darien

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Senator Duff Leads Passage of Bill That Would Improve Benefits For Public Safety Employees Injured in the Line of Duty

HARTFORD, CT – This week, legislation that would improve compensation for public safety employees who had to retire as a result of serious and permanent bodily injury in the line of duty, passed the Senate on Friday by a 36-0 vote. Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) who introduced the bill praised its passage.

Senate Bill 556, “An Act Concerning Additional Compensation for Certain Retired Public Safety Employees,” would permit any municipality, by a two-thirds vote of its legislative body, to annually pay a retired public safety employee who suffered serious and permanent bodily injury in the line of duty and had to retire as a result, the difference between the employee’s disability pay and the employee’s regular rate of pay prior to retirement.

The bill was introduced after Norwalk Police Officer Phil Roselle was accidently shot by a co-worker during a prescheduled fire arms training in September 2017. Officer Roselle suffered career-ending injuries and has been battling other permanent medical issues related to the incident. He has twice been denied workers’ compensation, as the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission reasoned that Type 1 diabetes was preventing him from working. The Roselle family argues that Officer Roselle was healthy until the shooting, which initiated a decline in his health.

“I’m pleased that this bill passed with bi-partisan support,” said Senator Duff. “Any public safety employee who is injured in the line of duty and is forced to retire must be taken care of by their community. Officer Roselle served Norwalk for over 30 years and was forced to retire due to a horrible accident. It’s only right that municipalities do what is necessary to ensure that these employees are protected. Our first responders and law enforcement officers put their lives on the line and do an incredible job of keeping our communities safe and this bill will guarantee that they are compensated properly for their service should they ever have to retire due to a serious injury.”

“I would also like to thank Mayor Harry Rilling for his support and partnership during this process and helping find a solution for Officer Roselle and all public safety officials that have been impacted,” continued Senator Duff.

The bill now awaits a vote by the House of Representatives.

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