Firemen Should be Pensioned.
No less an authority than The Philadelphia Ledger, in commenting upon the murder of Patrolman Findley in that city last week, goes on to say: “It is almost a universal principle that there shall be compensation by the State or community for life lost in its service. The soldiers expect and receive it, and so should the policemen. Their work, when faithfully performed, as it undoubtedly was in the case of this brave, duty-doing policeman, is as hazardous as that of the soldier. More than life they cannot give to duty, and that has been given in many another previous case, as it was in this one. For all such cases there should be ample public provision. The wages of death in a good cause are slight if they save those who were dependent upon the heroes from distress.
The death of Findley was a sacrifice which, but for the relief that may come from private sources, leaves the community ungrateful to his family and his memory. Let men who enter upon hazardous public services have at least the one comfort ing assurance that, if they are killed in the discharge of the duty of protecting life and property, their families shall not be left unprovided for, or forced to turn to the charitable for their bread. This faithful public servant has done his duty, even to death The public should do its duty, not by benevolent doles, nor by enforced contributions upon the scant pay of policemen and firemen, but by giving his family an adequate pension in a proper way.
The police and the firemen should be pensioned, not. however, from a fund actually wrung from their hardly earned pay; they should be pensioned, despite the implied provision of the amended city charter to the contrary, which should be to that extent amended by the municipality in whose perilous service they are enlisted, and in which they are, upon occasion, compelled to take their lives into their hands, to face death in the discharge of duty, as certainly as is the soldier in the field. The principle so universally recognized by governments all the world over, that the dependants of those who are killed in the discharge of public duty shall be provided for, is one which should be adopted by municipalities as well as by countries. A greater thing than his life can no man give, and freely giving it, as a trusted public servant, in defense of law and order, or the life or property of the citizen, they who are dependent upon him arc not less entitled to the full benefit of the pension system than (he soldier in arms. There will be nothing but praise for those benevolent citizens who come forward to provide a fund for the family of the brave policeman, Findley, but the municipal neglect which makes such beneficent contributions necessary deserves no praise whatever.