Sims, Rabb propose bill to reform act to financially assist injured law enforcement officers

HARRISBURG, March 2 – State Reps. Brian Sims and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila., have proposed a bill that would reform the state law that financially assists injured law enforcement officers.

Heart and Lung Act benefits are meant to provide financial security for police officers and other emergency personnel if an injury prevents them from working. If a law enforcement officer is receiving benefits unfairly or abusing the system, they are taking money from the taxpayers, their fellow police officers, and adding to a distrust of law enforcement.  

The legislators pointed out a recent Philadelphia Inquirer exposé that shed light on a much-needed reform in the ranks of Pennsylvania law enforcement.

This article demonstrated that the number of Philadelphia police officers out of duty on injury claims has doubled in the last few years. The article later detailed how some of these injured officers hold down second jobs, play on travel softball teams, and engage in other physically strenuous activities, all-the-while being too injured to return to police work.  

“We must act in order to guarantee that these benefits are reserved for those who are injured or disabled and genuinely need them,” said Sims. “As public servants, we have a responsibility to ensure that the public’s money is being spent in a transparent, responsible, and effective manner, especially when it comes to the safety of our citizens.”

“If law enforcement officers are receiving benefits unfairly or abusing the system, they are taking money from taxpayers and their fellow police officers while further eroding public trust of law enforcement,” Rabb said. “These benefits must be safeguarded for the first responders who truly
deserve them.”

You can check out the co-sponsorship memo for this bill here.