Dothan Commissioner Seagle Pushes Worker's Comp.

By: Rhiana Huckins Email
By: Rhiana Huckins Email

Dothan City Commissioner Keith Seagle brought up a major issue at Tuesday's Dothan City Commission meeting, how first responders injured in the line of duty are compensated.

Currently they are receiving 66 and two thirds percent of their salary with no taxes being taken out, but they are not receiving retirement benefits.

After talking to several people in the city- including recently injured firefighter John Penn--Commissioner Seagle says that aside from the statutory requirement, something extra must be done.

In a letter to Dothan City Manager Mike West and a public announcement during Tuesday's City Commission meeting, Commissioner Keith Seagle expressed his concern about how Dothan first responders are compensated in the line of duty.

Right now, injured police and fire men can collect roughly 66 per cent of their yearly salary tax free, but there are no retirement benefits.

"We can say administratively and legally, we are doing the correct thing, but there is also an ethical concern here, and if we are not taking care of the people who are taking care of us, than that needs to be addressed." Says Seagle

This assistance could come from the city, but seagle has also proposed to change the state laws that govern the retirement systems of Alabama.

Dothan police and fire officials say they will help if necessary by contacting the Alabama association of chiefs of police and fire.
“I think that there needs to be an amendment to the state law is somebody is injured in the line of duty, certainly their retirement benefits need to continue. If they are serving and they are injured in the line of duty, they do not need to be penalized with their retirement benefits seizing." Says Dothan Police Chief John Powell.

Some commissioners say its only there to provide better workers comp benefits to all city employees.

"I suggest if its going to be done for one group, it should be don’t for all groups, but others can piggyback on to this, that would be with electrical as well as all other city employees scattered through." Says Paul Lee, District 3 Commissioner.

Commissioner Seagle says they will be looking for options across the board- meaning for those city employees who may be injured from an electrical or sanitation job, but he believes the aid of first responders is curtail.

Dothan City Manager Mike West has also spoken about this issue.
He was not present at Tuesday's meeting, but is expected to talk more about this toward the end of October.

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  • by Jackie Hall Location: Dothan on Sep 23, 2008 at 04:35 PM
    I agree that firemen and police officers should have better workmans comp benefits along with ALL city employees. My husband is a street department worker and was buried from the waist down in a 12x12 hole which he could have died. Other workers in this field take chances everyday also even though they might not be fighting fires or criminals that could also take there life.
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