State Senator Frank LaRose (R–Copley Township) applauded today's passage of legislation aimed at supporting the families of volunteer and part-time police officers killed in the line duty.

The legislation stems from the death of volunteer Willoughby Police Officer Jason Gresko who died in the line of duty. His family was not able to receive the same benefits as a volunteer firefighter’s family in similar circumstances because no fund existed for volunteer and part-time law enforcement officers.

Sponsored by Senator LaRose and Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township), the legislation creates the Volunteer Police Officer’s Dependent Fund. The fund would function in the same manner as the already established Volunteer Firefighters Dependent Fund. A fund has long been in existence to provide death benefits to the families of full-time police officers killed in the line of duty.

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each and every day when they leave their homes and report for duty," said LaRose. “With the passage of this bill, the families of any law enforcement officer, whether they are full-time, part-time or volunteer, will be offered assistance should a tragedy occur.”

Senate Bill 11 would provide benefits to the families of fallen officers who were part-time or volunteer police officers. The Volunteer Police Officer’s Dependent Fund will be created for these officers and will serve a similar purpose as the current state fund for volunteer firefighters.

“I applaud my colleagues in the Senate and House for their efforts to ensure families of our fallen heroes will receive the death benefits they deserve,” said LaRose.

The legislation passed the Ohio House today with unanimous bipartisan support and now will be sent to the Governor for his signature.

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