Bill aimed to help injured first responders

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Sometimes the officers who protect us all get hurt. It can mean missing a lot of work and taking a pay cut, but one state representative is trying to change that.

The bill is known as the “Line of Duty Injury Act” and it would extend certain benefits to first responders injured on the job.

First responders like Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy Robin Hopkins.

“There’s so many people that put themselves out there and they just need to know they’re taken care of until they get back to work” Hopkins said.

Hopkins was one of four injured in a shooting with Christopher Chase in Albuquerque last October. She has been out of work ever since.

Under current law, while she’s recovering, her pay gets cut and the county doesn’t pay into her pension.

State Representative Paul Pacheco is sponsoring the bill that just recently passed through the house.

It would give local and state agencies the option to let those benefits continue while the victims are off the job.

Governor Susana Martinez says those hurt by the current law are victims and they shouldn’t be victimized again.

“You think this is a no brainer,” Martinez said. “You think that people running into danger instead of running away from it, those are the ones we want to protect because we want to continue to recruit people.”

Martinez and Pacheco say they’re working on getting this through the senate now.

The legislative session ends next week.

This bill would cover police officers, firefighters, corrections officers and EMTs.

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