TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (S3208) amending current law to provide accidental death benefits to the surviving families of New Jersey State Police troopers who died of illness following heroic rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11. The signing coincides with a private Survivors of the Triangle ceremony commemorating Sgt. Bryan McCoy and Trooper Robert Nagle.
“I am proud to sign this legislation and support survivors of the Troopers who served valiantly in the ruins of the World Trade Center,” said Governor Murphy. “This September we will mark 20 years since 9/11, but for many who faced illness or loss stemming from that fateful day, the wounds are still fresh. We must never forget their heroic sacrifice and must continue to assist the families that Troopers, including Sargent McCoy and Trooper Nagle, left behind.”
"Although it's been nearly 20 years since 9/11, for the families of Lieutenant William Fearon, Staff Sergeant Bryan McCoy, Trooper I Robert Nagle, and those who are still battling illness as a result of their recovery efforts at Ground Zero, the terrorist attacks continue to take their toll on a daily basis," said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. "On behalf of the New Jersey State Troopers who made the ultimate sacrifice and their families who have suffered so greatly, I would like to thank Governor Phil Murphy and the State Legislature for ensuring that the families of our fallen heroes are provided the benefits they deserve. This announcement today coincides with our annual Survivors of Triangle Memorial Ceremony, where each year the families of our fallen gather together to remember and celebrate the lives of our troopers who have lost their lives in the line of duty."
“The people of our nation are both honored and lucky to have had first responders like Trooper I Robert Nagel and Staff Sergeant Bryan McCoy, who selflessly ran towards danger on the day of the greatest attack against our nation and in its aftermath,” said Wayne Blanchard, President of the State Troopers Fraternal Association. “Trooper I Nagle and Staff Sergeant McCoy ignored dangers both known and unknown at the time and it was ultimately the unknown dangers in the aftermath of 9-1-1 that they succumbed to and made the ultimate sacrifice. The signing of this Bill gives Trooper I Nagle and Staff Sergeant McCoy complete and full recognition as those who made that ultimate sacrifice. More importantly it provides the surviving members of their families the support they need in suffering such a great loss. The sacrifice made by these brave heroes and their families will never be forgotten.”
The benefits will be provided through the State Police Retirement System (SPRS). Previously, accidental death benefits provided through SPRS were for the families of those whose loved ones died because of an accident during the performance of the member’s regular or assigned duties. Under this legislation, the families of troopers who responded to 9/11 and died of health impairments or qualifying illnesses will also be able to collect benefits.