Followup: Helping injured West Seattle officer who’s losing benefits

Developments since we wrote Friday night about a tv story on Officer Jason McKissack facing the loss of medical benefits because injuries from the attack on him in West Seattle a year and a half ago have left him unable to return to work:

*We’ve heard twice from Renee Maher, executive director of the law-enforcement advocacy group COMPAS and also the widow of Federal Way Police Officer Patrick Maher, killed in the line of duty seven years ago. She had more to say about the legislation mentioned in the story (which stalled last year but has been reintroduced this session):

COMPAS has made HB 1679 our priority for this legislative session. While we fully support and agree with the legislation that helps families of fallen officers, we believe that helping officers like Jason McKissack is just as important. I was part of the effort that got legislation passed in 2006 that provided medical insurance for families of officers killed in the line of duty. Imagine my shock and disgust to learn that financially, an officer’s family is better off if the officer dies in the line of duty (versus being disabled).

HB 1679 will provide medical insurance to Jason and his family. It is very do-able to get this legislation passed this session. We just need to spread the word and have people call their legislators to support this bill.

As discussed in comments following last night’s story, the bill is currently in the Ways and Means Committee of the state House. West Seattle Rep. Eileen Cody is a member of that committee. We e-mailed Rep. Cody to ask about its status and what people could do to voice support. Her reply today:

To move forward we will need to vote it out of the Ways and Means Committee again. I will check with Rep Simpson to see if he is planning on pushing the issue again this year. Interested constituents should contact Ways and Means Committee members to encourage action. We would not have to have another hearing on the bill this year since we had one last year. The chair just has to decide to bring it up for a vote.

The Legislature’s website says the committee is chaired by North Sound Rep. Kelli Linville; she and other members are listed here, and you can follow the links for their contact info. To e-mail Rep. Cody, start here.

*Meantime, our second message from Renee Maher included word that the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is now able to accept contributions for Officer McKissack’s medical fund:

2949 4th Ave South
Seattle, WA 98134
Subject line: Jason McKissack

There is also a link on the Seattle Police Guild website tonight with more info on the situation. Meantime, Q13 interviewed the McKissacks for a story aired tonight:

8 Replies to "Followup: Helping injured West Seattle officer who's losing benefits"

  • WMF January 18, 2010 (2:51 am)

    OK, I’d like to help. I am a karaoke host at a bar in the Georgetown area, but I have been a West Seattlite for over 30 years. On January 23, a Saturday, all of my tips will go directly to whatever fund will benefit this officer the most. I will begin advertising this immediately. No man or woman who has put their life on the line for the safety of resident of West Seattle should have to suffer financially in my eyes.

  • WMF January 18, 2010 (3:11 am)

    after watching the Q13 video… I will also contribute whatever I make as my pay that night to Officer McKissack.

    • WSB January 18, 2010 (3:28 am)

      Hey WMF … let us know location/time/etc. (I’m pretty sure I know who you are) and we’ll post it separately … as far as I know the SPOG Fund is the only option at the moment although I’m planning to cover the media event on Tuesday afternoon involving not just Officer McKissack but also others pushing for this legislation, and will update with anything else we learn then … TR

  • WMF January 18, 2010 (3:39 am)

    email was sent to WSB… either way, this is Willie Murderface… location is Goldie’s on Airport Way, 3924 Airport Way S… Saturday, Jan 23, 9PM to 1:30AM…

  • J January 18, 2010 (9:54 am)

    I think fundraising to help is great–but please don’t lose sight of the fact that if we did fundraisers for everyone who loses medical benefits because they become disabled, we’d be constantly fundraising. We need to solve the general problem that underlays this instance of it–that we do not extend healthcare coverage to everyone, period. The state legislation that addresses the specific injustice in this case is helpful for certain specific cases, but is only needed because, at the federal level, we have failed to address the problem of healthcare for all.

  • TW January 18, 2010 (10:05 am)

    WSB- Where, what time is the media event on Tues?? I would like to thank Officer McKissack in person. He was hurt in our neighborhood. Thanks.

  • WSB January 19, 2010 (8:15 am)

    TW – the announcement says credentialed media only (which is unusual for a news conference announcement, fwiw) and that credentials will have to be shown – if you are credentialed, give the SPOG a call for the announcement – tr

  • Lillian January 20, 2010 (12:40 pm)

    I think at this point we should also be looking at the Judge who tried Officer McKissack’s case. Judge Washington gave the teenagers minimal punishment, one of which was never even held in jail. It is outrageous that this Judge is still allowed to try cases. Some thing needs to be done to publicize this information and possibly take some sort of action upon Judge Washington or even the teens involved. (note: two of the teens were 18.)

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