Since 1997, the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association has offered an in-the-line of duty death benefit, paid to the spouse or parent of a slain deputy sheriff. Our $10,000 death benefit in no way takes away the pain of such a loss, but it does relieve, in the aftermath of such a tragedy, the stress of immediate financial needs.
Since our decision to pay these benefits, 19 deputies have sacrificed their lives in the protection of their communities, and we have paid $190,000 in benefits. We do this quietly and without fanfare.
Honorary Members, one of you, came up with a unique idea for maintaining the death benefit fund. Rather than doing a special appeal to raise additional revenue to cover the costs of the death benefit, why not create the Fallen Heroes Partnership? The idea is that each patron of the partnership will pledge $50.00 to the death benefit program each time we pay a benefit. With enough members, this would replace the $10,000 benefit, and will keep the benefit account in positive numbers. You send no money now, only when a benefit is actually paid by the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association.