Union Wants Detective's Death Reclassified As "In The Line Of Duty"
By: NY1 News
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The detectives’ union now says they want the death of one of its officers to be re-classified as a death in the line of duty.
The request follows a New Jersey medical examiner’s conclusion that NYPD Detective James Zadroga's death was directly connected to the recovery work he did at the World Trade Center site following the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
The 34-year-old retired detective died in January from respiratory failure.
The detectives’ union has long argued Zadroga's death was a direct result of his rescue and recovery work after the terror attacks. Their suspicions were confirmed Tuesday by the New Jersey autopsy report.
"It is felt with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the death in this case is directly related to the incident of 9/11," said Michael Palladino of the Detectives Endowment Association.
Under current law, Zadroga's pension worked out to three-quarters of tax-free disability income. But the union says because the cause of death has been directly linked to 9/11, his pension should reflect that. A death in the line of duty classification would allow Zadroga's 4-year-old daughter to receive pension benefits for a longer period of time.
“In the current World Trade Center disability law, there is no provision for a death benefit within the law for those people who retire, and that in retirement their death is caused by their assignment to the World Trade Center," said Palladino.
The union is pushing for a WTC task force to review cases and make a recommendation to get the pension law amended.
The NYPD isn't commenting on the union's request.