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City Council unanimously approved during its July 24, 2023, regular meeting a resolution to adopt a policy that will waive charges of City of Edmond utilities for the surviving spouse of Edmond Police or Edmond Fire personnel killed in the line of duty.
"Police and Fire employees who are residents of Edmond now know that if the ultimate sacrifice is made in the line of duty, their surviving spouse will never receive a utility bill from the City of Edmond for the rest of their lives,” said Tom Robins, Ward 1 Councilmember, who introduced the proposed policy during a City Council meeting in June. “Edmond is the first city in the state and nation to provide such a benefit, and I hope many other cities will follow."
Under the new policy, surviving spouses are eligible if the officer or firefighter dies in the performance of official Police or Fire duties, and are extended only if the surviving spouse’s primary residence is within the Edmond city limits and serviced by either Edmond Electric and/or the City’s Water Resources Department.
The new policy comes on the heels of approval of new contracts for both Police and Fire, and a new leave program that provides not only longer maternity/paternity leave for new parents but also paid time off for any City employee who is adopting a child or fostering a child.
From Edmond Fraternal Order of Police President Detective Sgt. Chris Cook: “The Edmond Fraternal Order of Police would like to thank the Edmond City Council for their efforts to make sure our Edmond Police Officers are well taken care of. The job of police officer is a difficult one and we are thankful the City Council recognizes just how difficult our job is. Their support for our officers has been truly amazing and we are especially thankful for our new three-year contract that has given us some of the best pay and benefits in the region. We further want to say thank you to our City Council for setting the trend in family leave benefits and this new benefit for a surviving spouse of a police officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty.”
From Edmond International Association of Fire Fighters President Lt. Lindy Simpson: “The Edmond International Association of Firefighters would like to thank the Edmond City Council for their support for our organization. We are humbled by their support for a new three-year contract that helps put the Edmond Fire Department as one of the top cities in the region in benefits and pay. We are also thankful to the City Council for their creation and support of the surviving spouse benefit for police and firefighters. We look forward to continuing to provide the highest level of care for our citizens and community.”