State lawmakers modify fallen officer benefit bill to include Sgt Steil's family

Family, friends, men and women in blue are remembering a hero. Visitation is now underway for Sgt. Ken Steil.

He was shot in the line of duty last week, dying from complications of the wound on Saturday. Charlie LeDuff reported about the difficulty that Steil's family could face collecting his benefits.

One day after Charlie's story aired - results for Steil's family. The bill passed for fallen officers benefits, was not written to be retroactive and would have excluded Steil's family.

Gov. Rick Snyder saw the story Tuesday night, and Wednesday the Senate reopened the bill, language was added to make it retroactive to October, 2015.

"Thank you,  thank you Charlie. I thank you to behalf of law enforcement officers everywhere especially members of the Detroit police department," said Mark Young, president of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association. "I want to thank you from the bottom of my soul.

"I want to thank you for caring about members of my department. Sometimes they feel undeserved and some other things, I want to thank you because your story helped change the progress to cover the families of people like Sgt. Ken Steil who deserved no less, no less. He risked his life protecting others and he only wanted to make sure that his wife and his two small sons was covered.

"I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

LeDuff: "I didn't do it. Who do we have to thank - Gov. Rick Snyder stepped up, Sen. David Knezak, and Sen. Wayne Smith and others."

Young: "I want to thank any member of the legislature that love and respect and appreciate law enforcement. This is crucial, this is crucial not to only the city's and municipalities this is crucial to the state's survival. Any time that you have a strong law enforcement presence and a strong law enforcement entity, it makes us all safer.

LeDuff: "A bit of light in a dark time."

"This is the least we can do for the families of Ken Steil and others like him," Turner said.

Steil leaves behind his wife and two small sons. His widow said she forgives.

The bill now includes Steil's family and other law enforcement officers around the state as well as all first responders. It is effective immediately and was passed unanimously in the Senate and 99-6 in the House. As soon as Snyder gets it, he will sign it. 

The bill was done post-bankruptcy, but there are five families from pre-bankruptcy that are also out there. Charlie LeDuff  would again like to challenge Detroit Mayor Duggan and the city council to step up and do the right thing by those people - because the legislature is not going to do that. They're still out there.

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