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Get Marty: New Law Gives Death Benefits To Families Of Campus Officers Who Die On Duty

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A local woman came to KDKA's Get Marty months ago hoping to get death benefits for her husband, who was the police chief on a local college campus.

Now, she has a new state law on her side.

"I can't thank you enough," says April Waller.

April's husband, Vince, was the police chief at Penn State McKeesport. He died on the job in 2012.

It turns out under state law he had no death benefits and that left April on her own to raise two kids.

"I cry every night. My kids cry every night," says April.

KDKA's Get Marty took her crisis to state Sen. Kim Ward.

The senator was shocked to learn campus police officers around the state did not qualify for death benefits, until now.

"This feels great. This is why I do the job," says Sen. Ward.

Gov. Tom Wolf just signed a bill pushed by Sen. Ward that gives full death benefits to April and her family. Also, campus police officers across the state will now get death benefits if they die while on duty.

"It's a great day for my family. It's a great day for the legacy of my husband. I now know he can rest in peace," says April.

Senator Ward says most campus police officers had no idea they had no death benefits. In fact she says most families don't find out until after a loved one dies. Ward believes the new bill will give those families peace of mind.

If you'd like Marty to help you solve your problem, email him at

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