of slain Charleston Police officer to receive W.Va. survivor benefit
W.Va. – The family of a Charleston police officer fatally
wounded in the line of duty earlier this month is receiving $100,000 from West
Virginia’s Emergency Responders Survivor Benefit Fund.
State Fire Marshal Ken Tyree presented the
authorized benefit to the Charleston Police Department on Wednesday.
Patrolman Cassie Johnson was shot while
responding to a Dec. 1 traffic complaint on the city’s West Side. Officer
Johnson returned fire, wounding her assailant. With Johnson’s assistance,
fellow officers were able to capture the suspect a short time later. Officer
Johnson, 28, succumbed to her injuries on Dec. 3. The Charleston native had
joined the CPD in January 2019, and previously served as a city humane officer.
The suspect has since been charged in her murder.
The West Virginia Emergency Responders
Survivor Benefit Act intends to honor firefighters, law enforcement, EMS and
Division of Forestry personnel killed in the performance of their emergency
response duties through benefits provided to their surviving spouse, designated
beneficiary, children, or parents. The governor oversees certification of the
survivor benefit, and his Department of Homeland Security and its Office of the
State Fire Marshal help to administer the program.
“First responders always unite when one of
our own pays the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country from threats to our
way of life,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy.
Sandy noted that Gov. Jim Justice had ordered
an expedited process under the Survivor Benefits Act. Fire Marshal Tyree Met
with Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt to quickly obtain the necessary documentation.
Justice had requested frequent updates on
the condition of Officer Johnson following the shooting, and was advised of her
passing within minutes of the terrible loss. He ordered that a West Virginia
flag be flown over the Capitol in Officer Johnson’s honor. This flag was then presented
to Sheryl Johnson, the officer’s mother, at her memorial service.