UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL REYES AND UTAH LAW ENFORCEMENT UNITED TO SUPPORT FIRST RESPONDER BENEFITS Congress Considers Bill to Extend Death Benefits Due to COVID-19
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes is leading a coalition of law enforcement officers from around the State of Utah in urging Congress to quickly pass S.3607 – Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act of 2020.
S. 3607 has already passed the U.S. Senate and is awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. The bill extends death benefits under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program (PSOB) to survivors of public safety officers (e.g., law enforcement officers) who die because of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019). The PSOB program provides death, disability, and education benefits to public safety officers and survivors of public safety officers who are killed or injured in the line of duty.
Specifically, this bill creates a general presumption that a public safety officer who dies from COVID-19 or related complications sustained an injury in the line of duty.
“Our men and women of law enforcement are answering calls on the front lines every day, facing numerous threats including the coronavirus. I see it every day in my own state. I’m proud we can join our voices together as a Utah blue community to care for the families of our fallen officers,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “It is urgent Congress pass this bill and allow President Trump to sign it quickly. The pandemic has already claimed the lives of several law enforcement officers and there will sadly be more. The families of these front-line responders deserve these benefits in the fastest and most efficient way possible.”
Among the Utah law enforcement agencies joining in support of this legislation include the Utah Fraternal Order of Police, the Utah Sheriff’s Association, the Utah Chiefs of Police and the Utah Peace Officers Association.
Today in commemoration of Peace Officers Memorial Day we recognize the selfless heroes that lost their lives too soon in the line of duty. The Utah Attorney General’s Office honors and extends our sincerest gratitude to the men and women of law enforcement that have served and continue to serve across the State of Utah and keep our communities and families safe.
We are proud to serve alongside our brave peace officers and are profoundly grateful for their service and sacrifice that has lasting, positive impacts in our communities. Join us today in remembering those that we lost and expressing gratitude to those that continue to serve.
Every year at the beginning of May, we honor those fallen law enforcement officers that lost their lives in the line of duty during a Law Enforcement Memorial Service. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures, the public memorial service was not able to be held at the Memorial this year. However, the Utah Attorney General’s Office was proud to still able to join in honoring Utah’s fallen officers during a Memorial Service that aired on KSL today.
Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes released the following statement in recognition of Utah’s fallen heroes:
“Today we honor those courageous men and women of law enforcement who have given their lives in the line of duty. As is oft quoted, “All give some but some give all!” We pay tribute to their memory, celebrate their dedication to public service and renew our prayers with and on behalf of their families and friends who have lost so much. While we are stewards of their memories, their sacrifice will never be forgotten. May the peace they fought so hard to protect rest mightily upon their souls.
“And to those in uniform who are still with us, thank you for your continued service. May God bless you with health, protection, honor, discernment, good judgment, humility and strength. Our prayers go with you and your families every day.”
Watch the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial Service below:
UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE TO HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT BY DISTRIBUTING PROTECTIVE GEAR DONATIONS OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) IN A PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP
The Utah Attorney General’s Office is partnering with a growing list of private companies to collect and distribute masks, gloves, hand sanitizer etc. to rescue and law enforcement agencies who are running out. Most of those receiving the masks are in rural communities in northern, central and southern Utah.
The Attorney General’s Office has already distributed more than 1,000 masks donated by PC Laptops. Sherwin Williams delivered 2,500 items for distribution this morning.
This effort will not take away from those who are working to provide PPE to health care professionalswho are also in critical need of these items at this time. CDC guidelines to law enforcement personnel call for a minimum use of PPE whenever possible and necessary. The need for this equipment for law enforcement is running critically low in Utah.
So far, the local companies (which include PC Laptops, Sherwin Williams and more in progress) are donating the masks, gloves, face shields, hand sanitizer, gowns, etc. that have they have acquired. The Attorney General’s Office will distribute those items as they become available.
“We all realize the need for hospitals to get masks and supplies. And while we all work together to get that done, our first responders are answering emergency calls and keeping our communities safe. We owe it to them to provide some protection in the line of duty,” said Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes.
“It’s wonderful to see fire and police chiefs, sheriffs and EMT leaders rally together so quickly in such crisis conditions,” Attorney General Reyes added. “We are trying to speed up the process of collection and distribution. And the Attorney General’s Office is proud to play a role in coordinating that effort. Again, I want to emphasize our efforts to ensure hospitals and medical personnel get what they need on the front lines of this pandemic while we support our other first responders.”
Attorney General Reyes also expressed gratitude to the donors. “A big thanks to Dan Young and his team for their generous donations and dedication to get this equipment to responders around the state. We’re also working with other businesses like Sherman Williams and private donors who are generously providing masks and supplies for hospitals and responders in Utah.”
The Attorney General’s Office has been distributing the PPE this week.
Additional donations are expected, as this is will be an on-going effort. We will provide notification as that happens.
Today in honor of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, we at
the Utah Attorney General’s Office express our gratitude and support of the
public servants who have chosen to put their lives on the line every day to
keep our communities and families safe.
There are approximately
17,985 U.S. police agencies in the United States which include City Police
Departments, County Sheriff’s Offices, State Police/Highway Patrol and Federal
Law Enforcement Agencies. Each of these
local, state, and federal members of law enforcement often perform demanding,
thankless work that takes them away from their families. Officers often respond
to and witness some of the most tragic events in our communities such as
murder, suicide, and domestic violence. We are grateful for the dedication and hard
work performed by these officers, that has lasting, positive impacts in our
To all the men and women in uniform who selflessly sacrifice
their time to protect and serve – thank you.
This National Law Enforcement Memorial Month, we are grateful for those that put themselves in harm’s way each day to protect Utah’s families and communities and we mourn for those who lost their lives in the line of duty. The family and close friends of those lost are in our hearts and prayers. Thank you to all who serve.
Today, the Utah Attorney General’s office joined the Brigham City Police Department, South Salt Lake Police Department, Provo Police Department, and Sandy Police Department for the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial Service to honor fallen officers Assistant Chief Dennis B. Vincent, Officer David P. Romrell, Master Officer Joseph Shinners, and all other law enforcement officers that gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. We were joined by family, friends, and comrades at the Law Enforcement Memorial on the Capitol grounds as we prayed together and gave tribute to those lost.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, AG Investigators, and the Unified Police Department teamed up just before Christmas to spread some holiday spirit and to give back to the community. Over two dozen Utahns were pulled over for real traffic violations, but instead of receiving a ticket, they received cash, gift certificates, and other prizes, much to the delight and relief of the drivers.
Attorney General Reyes came up with the idea after he’d seen similar pranks done by other agencies on YouTube. “We’ve got law enforcement men and women who really care beyond just being great professionals, they’re human beings and they want to lift people,” said Attorney General Reyes.
This is the second year the Attorney General’s Office and the Unified Police Department have joined together for what is now becoming their favorite tradition.