MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A bill inspired by Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs would add a $100,000 state payout to the package of benefits provided to families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
Briggs, 35, a father of two, was fatally shot while on patrol in October. His accused killer faces the death penalty in a capital murder trial. Democratic Manchester Senator Lou D'Allesandro is the prime sponsor of the bill known as "Michael's Law." He hopes the money helps attract police recruits and says the $100,000 figure was picked to bring New Hampshire in line with other states that provide the benefit, he said.
"We're asking people to put their lives on the line . . .," he said. "Is there ever enough money to compensate for that?"
A national group, Concerns of Police Survivors, says 28 states pay death benefits when an officer is killed on duty; the average amount is $50,000. Massachusetts has offered a $100,000 death benefit since 1994, when two state troopers, two city police officers, and a police chief died.
The federal government provides a one time death benefit of $295,000 plus tuition and education help to surviving children and spouses of officers. Survivors also receive state retirement funds and workers' compensation.
Laura Briggs and her two sons have been the center of huge public outpourings of support since Briggs's death.