Officer's widow is denied law enforcement death benefits

December 31, 2007 5:22:54 PM PST
The widow of a Hope Mills police officer, who died after chasing a suspect, is having a tough time making ends meet.

James Heath Hardin suffered a heart attack and died in January. His widow says several of her husband's law enforcement death benefits are being denied.

"Workman's comp has been denied. Police Benevolent Association did not come through," Hardin's widow, Shelly said. "When you sign up for them part of their benefit is if you die in the line of duty, you'll be compensated a year's pay."

A spokesman for the PBA says Hardin had a preexisting heart condition and its insurance policy did not cover heart attacks. The organization has since changed its policy to compensate heart attack victims.

In addition, Shelly may not receive $300,000 in federal insurance money.

"He gave the ultimate sacrifice, his life. And we scarified everyday when he went to work. The holidays, the nights and I just feel like we're due that," she said.

She has put her house up for sale and is moving with her two children to her mother's house to save money.

Officer Hardin's name appears on a memorial outside the Hope Mills Police Department. As far as the officers are concerned, he died in the line of duty.

Hardin says she's gotten an attorney to fight for the benefits she and her family deserve.


Load Comments