Friday, March 27, 2015

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?”

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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