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Get Marty: Pa. Sen. Working To Get Death Benefits For Campus Officers' Families

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The wife of a local police chief who died in the line of duty reached out to Get Marty for help.

Vince Waller had a cerebral hemorrhage, then a heart attack. He died within hours. That was in September of 2012.

Waller was the chief of campus police at Penn State McKeesport for 10 years.

When he died, his wife, April, tried to get death benefits.

"It's been a nightmare. For more than two years I've been fighting this," says April.

Turns out, Vince Waller does not qualify for death benefits. Under current state law, campus police officers do not get death benefits.

"It's really a tragedy. These families that have lost a husband and a father while they were working in the line of duty are not able to be compensated. The present law does not include campus police," says State Sen. Kim Ward.

Sen. Ward promises to change all of that.

Right now, she is pushing to change state law, giving campus police full death benefits.

"This involves scholarship money for children, health care coverage, even a lump sum cash payment," says Sen. Ward.

April, who is raising two children, is hopeful.

"It's almost like my husband's life didn't matter. He's not going to be able to rest in peace until this is resolved," she says.

The death benefit for the Waller family amounts to more than $400,000.

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

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