Line of Duty Disability Act Approved by Senate

Mike Seals - May 16, 2020 10:10 am

Senate approves Sgt. Schoolfield Line of Duty Disability Act

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate unanimously approved legislation Friday to ensure police officers seriously injured in the line of duty can get full disability benefits.  House Bill 3330, by Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, creates the Sergeant Schoolfield Line of Duty Disability Act named after Matthew Schoolfield, a 10-year veteran of the Chickasha Police Department, who was shot three times in the line of duty on Sept. 17, 2017 while serving a search warrant.

“While doing his job, Matthew sustained severe injuries, especially to his right arm, in a violent attack that resulted in him not being able to continue working as a police officer,” Paxton said. “However, because of how disability benefits are figured within the Police Retirement System, he can’t get full disability, which would still only get him less than half his regular pay. With no regard for his personal safety, he put his life at risk every day like so many other heroes around our state. These officers deserve better, and this bill will ensure that they can get full disability when they sustain such life-altering injuries.”

The measure modifies disability pension standards for members of the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System (OPPRS) by requiring the Board of Trustees for OPPRS to determine if a police officer who sustains an injury through a violent act, while in the performance of their duties as a police officer, is 100% disabled and entitled to a 100% normal disability benefit.

Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, is the principal House author of the bill, which now moves to the governor for final consideration.

 

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