NEW YORK, NY – NYC Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-36) released the following statement in response to a pair of Council resolutions calling for the passage of State legislation in support of police officers (S5903-A and A7620-A) and firefighters (S5246-A and A7716-A). Both resolutions in support of the State bills were voted on today by the Council Committee on State and Federal Legislation:

“Today I am proud to join the call for our colleagues in the state legislature to support our first responders. These resolutions urge the State to pass critical legislation that treats firefighters and police officers with the dignity and respect that they deserve for their service to our communities.

For police officers that will mean acknowledging their service as cadets and counting that time towards their pension. I say to our State colleagues: Putting your life at risk to serve the public deserves no less.

The exact same goes for recognizing the risks firefighters face, and acknowledging that the cancers they are dealing with– lymphatic, digestive, hematological, urinary, neurological, breast, reproductive, or prostate cancers, and melanoma – can develop for years before being diagnosed. Despite being supplied with top-notch protective equipment, firefighters are exposed to carcinogens that increase the risk of developing cancer. We owe it to New York City firefighters to permit them the five year lookback window that ensures they get the care and treatment they deserve.

Police officers and firefighters deserve equitable treatment for their service to the public. Our State legislature should acknowledge that fact both in word and in deed by passing these important bills.