Upgrades to Member Benefits and the Legal Defense Plan

John Sierega, Director of Field Services and Public Affairs  

In the last issue of In Service, I talked about our recent structural and personnel changes.  This month I am eager to tell you about enhancements to our legal defense plan and new member benefits.  TMPA makes it a priority to continually seek to improve, expand, and better support membership across Texas.

Our civilian members have spoken, and we have listened.  Many civilian members such as telecommunicators and detention officers are “licensed to carry” and have inquired about eligibility for legal coverage in the event they lawfully use a firearm (or other legal weapon) in defense of themselves or another.  The Board of Directors took up the subject at the summer Board meeting and approved amending the plan for just such coverage.  Details can be found in Article V, section 5.1 (n) of the Peace Officer’s Legal Defense Fund Plan and Trust.  And as a reminder, the spouse of a member is also eligible for legal defense if they use their firearm in lawful defense of themselves or others.  As with any tool, practice makes perfect, therefore, we stress that anyone who carries a firearm spend time training to become familiar with its use.

A subject that is front of mind for TMPA, especially as an unfortunate result of Covid-19 and the recent attacks on peace officers, is line of duty death benefits.  When a hero gives their life in defense of others, it is imperative we take proper care of the survivors.  The federal government recently enacted the Safeguarding America’s First Responders (SAFR) Act, which establishes a temporary presumption that Covid-19 infections will be considered to be contracted while on duty if diagnosed within 45 days of an officer’s last shift, making survivors eligible for federal PSOB benefits.  Covid-19 is not yet presumptive in Texas, and legislative action will be required to make it so.  However, effective immediately, the Board of Directors approved an increase in the TMPA line of duty death benefit from $10,000 to $15,000. 

Speaking of member benefits, have you signed up for PoliceOne online training?  TMPA members are now eligible for up to 50-hours of online training through PoliceOne Academy for just $30.  What a bargain!  Click HERE to login to your member profile and register today. 

Are you a credit union member?  If not, banking with a credit union rather than a traditional bank is worth consideration.  We have partnered with National Police Credit Union (NPCU), bringing their services to Texas and our members.  One of the many benefits NPCU offers is loan forgiveness in the event of a line of duty death.  If an officer’s home loan, car loan, etc., is financed with NPCU and they are killed in the line of duty, the loans are forgiven in full.  Visit NPCU HERE  to learn more about the many benefits of membership. 

Another new benefit TMPA is thrilled to offer is online ID protection through our partnership with a leading expert on privacy protection.  TMPA members are eligible to sign up as an individual, or as an association, for services that prevent people who are searching your name from gaining personal information to target you and your family.  The platform is built based on search engine algorithms and it goes beyond just removing your name from websites and data brokers.  Click HERE for more information.   

For you, law enforcement is not just a job, it is a calling.  For us at TMPA, our calling is to ensure you have as much peace of mind as possible when you go to work every day protecting and serving your communities.  Thank you for what you do.    

God bless, stay safe, and take care of yourselves.