Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

City Council is eyeing legislation to deal with cops funeral costs

If City Councilman Jim Kenney were the mayor funeral expenses for slain Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. would have been paid for, he said.

City Council is eyeing legislation to deal with cops funeral costs

If City Councilman Jim Kenney were the mayor funeral expenses for slain Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. would have been paid for, he said.

Since he’s not, Kenney, a potential 2015 candidate for mayor is looking to sponsor legislation to establish a “hero” panel, a group of five members that would be appointed by the mayor, the council president, members of the police and fire departments and an independent member. The panel would determine on a case-by-case basis if the city should pay for the funeral expenses of uniformed employees.

“The devastation should have made any mayor or city solicitor say where’s the paper let me sign this now,” Kenney said, adding he doesn’t see how the city could decide not to pay for the funeral. “This should be approached and analyzed by people who have experience in this area.”

Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said the city is still reviewing whether Walker, who was gunned down on a North Philly street moments after finishing a shift at the 22nd Police District on Aug. 18, qualifies for funeral benefits.

Last week John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police estimated that funeral and related costs were $75,000 and for now the FOP will pay the bills through the FOP Survivors Fund.

“This is about doing the right thing. This process shouldn’t take weeks,” McNesby said. “What kind of message does this send to the city of Philadelphia?”

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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