O’Neill: Ballot question will leave service test bonus in voters’ hands

An idea Councilman Brian O’Neill, R-10th, proposed in June will be presented to voters on the November ballot, and could affect the future of the city’s police and fire departments.

Initially proposed by a constituent, the city charter change would give bonus points to the grandchildren of police and firefighters who’ve died in the line of duty. The bonus points would raise their scores on the service tests needed to qualify for those careers.

“If somebody want to join either of those departments knowing [someone they love] died in the line of duty, you don’t have to worry about them,” O’Neill said at Wednesday’s Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Town Watch meeting.

Children of officers and firefighters who’ve died in the line of duty already get extra points on their qualifying exams. Voters will be asked on the November ballot how they feel about extending that benefit. O’Neill said he has not heard the same level of support expressed for giving additional points to the siblings of deceased police and firefighters, but he’ll continue to gauge people’s interest on the matter.

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