The City of Fountain is extending its death benefits for families of employees who are killed in work-related deaths.
After Detective Micah Flick was killed in the line of duty, El Paso County worked quickly with county commissioners to extend benefits to the Flick family. They were able to extend the benefits so that the Flick family was covered for a year, instead of losing their benefits after one month.
Last week, the City of Fountain extended their death benefits to surviving families for two years, doubling El Paso County’s one-year change. City council approved the ordinance unanimously.
Fountain Police Chief Chris Heberer said he’s happy his community leaders are being proactive, not reactive.
“Our elected officials took a proactive positive step. Tell our family members, we care about employees, on your worst day, should you lose someone, our city is going to stand behind you and take care of your family,” Heberer said.
Heberer said with the current climate in our nation toward law enforcement, they are happy to provide some temporary financial relief in the event of a tragic event.
A Fountain police officer has not been killed in the line of duty in Fountain since 1924.
With an annual budget of $80 million, Heberer said the cost is nearly inconsequential, and most of the residents are behind them.
“Luckily and God willing, we don’t have to enact this benefit very often, but it was just an oversight that we needed to do more,” Heberer said. “That when we tell our families that we care about them, that we mean it, and we’re going to make legislation to support it.”
Based on the federal Public Safety Act, law enforcement families can get some help from the government, but the waiting period is between two and five years.
Heberer said this will help take that burden off local families during that gap.