The children of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty now qualify for some extra financial assistance for college.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law Monday outside the Culture Center S.B. 394 which provides a four year scholarship for children who lost their parents in the line of duty to help pay for college.
“$7,500 a year will go to dependent children of those officers to help offset the costs associated with continuing education beyond high school,” said Capt. Joe White with the West Virginia State Police.
The children can use the money to attend any state university, college, trade or vocational school of their choice.
White said this bill truly helps families struggling with the death of a loved one.
“Anytime that a police officer, or rather anyone dies, it places not only an emotional burden on a family but also places a heavy financial burden,” said White.
During the signing of the bill, Tomblin was joined by several state police troopers along with fellow legislators who supported the bill.
West Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers said he is pleased to see the bill become a law.
“I’m very happy that the Legislature and the Governor’s Office got together and made this happen,” said Smithers. “This is very big if the unfortunate tragedy happens when you have a family.”
White said it is very humbling knowing that they are supported.
“It’s motivational to say the least for law enforcement to know that there’s the support from the public and there’s the support from the community through their legislators and through the Governor’s Office to help in the event that one of us would die in the line of duty,” said White.
White adds that he hopes the money is never used but knows that it’s there when it’s needed.