There is a new piece of legislation heading through the statehouse in Trenton that would dive into really helping police and firefighters who suffer an injury or illness which causes them to retire from their field.

State Senator Vince Polistina (R-2) has posted a bill (S-2837) that would help these men and women learn a new career and assist them on multiple fronts overall.

“An individual who chooses a career in emergency services typically does so with the intent of being there for good. Sadly though, many face injuries while in the performance of their duties that result in them no longer being able to perform the job. After dedicating their lives to law enforcement or the fire service, they find themselves needing to start over, many with no training or skills outside their former profession," Senator Polistina said in a written statement. “We want to help them prepare to step into a new field that may never replace their chosen occupation, but one that will help fill the void."

Senator Polistina explains that his legislation would help out retired police and firefighters by allowing them to attend classes at public colleges tuition-free and clarifies that it would be for those men and women whose career was ended by a service-related injury or illness.

Those who do and are able to attend these college courses could receive up to 16 credits per semester up to eight semesters, Senator Polistina said.

“When one of these brave men or women suffer a career-ending injury, many are faced with challenges finding the answer to what’s next,” Polistina said. “This legislation will allow them to decide their future and not have their injuries hold them back.”

The legislation goes a step further as well by helping out the family of a police officer or firefighter who died in the line of duty.

His bill would provide the same benefits a retired police officer or firefighter would get to the child or spouse.

“Kids who lose their parents in the service of our families and neighbors deserve no less,” Polistina said. “This is a reasonable, much needed bill, and I’m hopeful my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support it and help it move swiftly through the Legislature.”

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