Biden signs bill giving suicide-slain policemen’ families perks

President Biden signed a bill into law on Tuesday that provides disability and death benefits to the families of police who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or commit suicide while on duty. The Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022 is part of a bigger attempt to recognize the emotional toll that tragic incidents take on first responders across the country.

Erin Smith fought for death benefits for months after her husband, Washington, D.C., Metropolitan police officer Jeffrey Smith, died nine days after the Capitol attack on Jan. 6. Jeff Smith, a 12-year veteran of the department, was the subject of many attacks that day after responding to the rioters who broke into the Capitol.

“I have gone through hell and back to have my husband’s death declared in the line of duty, and to have the Metropolitan Police Department and the city of D.C. recognize that the brain injury he received on duty is the reason he is no longer here with us today,” Erin Smith said in a statement Tuesday.

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