Nearly ten years have passed since the Terrorist
Attacks of 2001. The events of 9/11 devastated the entire country,
not just New York City and Washington, D.C. These two cities
were targeted because they symbolize America to the world. For
those brave men and women who were the first-responders on that
fateful day as well as through the weeks and months that followed,
the attacks of 9/11 are not just history; the medical aftermath
of 9/11 is felt on a daily basis.
For the membership of NAPO, the attacks on 9/11
were particularly tragic. When the World Trade Center Twin Towers
were destroyed, all of the officers who responded and gave their
lives were NAPO members. This group of heroes includes the members
of The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, The NYPD
Sergeants Benevolent Association, The NYPD Detectives’ Endowment
Association, The NYPD Lieutenants Benevolent Association, The NYPD
Captains Endowment Association, The Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey Police Benevolent Association, The Port Authority Police
Detectives Endowment Association, The Port Authority Police Sergeants
Benevolent Association, and The Port Authority Police Lieutenants
NAPO wishes to publicly thank all of these groups,
as well as the International Association of Firefighters and the
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, for their support
and effort in what was truly a team effort.
When loads of debris were
collected from the site, the wreckage from the attacks was sifted
by hand during the search for human remains and forensic evidence.
In this difficult and tragic task it was the NYPD detectives who
took the lead; including Detective James Zadroga.
H.R. 847 was named after Detective Zadroga of the New York City Police Department, a NAPO member.
He died of a respiratory disease that was contracted during the
rescue and recovery operation at the World Trade Center. Detective
Zadroga was the first NYPD officer whose
death was attributed to the subsequent exposure to the debris that
remained after the attacks.
Thousands of workers and NAPO members responded
from all over the country to aid New York City and the Port Authority
in the search for survivors. Within the New York City Police Department
alone, more officers have died since September 11th of
related health conditions than fell in the line of duty during the
attacks. There are thousands more from nearly every State and Congressional
District in the country who continue to suffer from 9/11 health-related
On December 22, 2010, The United States Congress
passed The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and
Compensation Act (H.R. 847). The Senate passed this bill by voice
vote followed by a roll call vote in the House of Representatives
on the amended Senate version. H.R. 847 passed in a vote of 206
in support to 60 opposed. The President is expected to sign the
James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation
Act into Public Law.
Passage of this legislation was not possible
without the much-appreciated commitment and support of President
Obama and Vice President Biden.
Their ongoing efforts, mostly behind the scenes, did not
in lobbying the House of Representatives for the
passage of this legislation would not be possible without
the entirety of the New York Delegation; especially Representatives
Pete King, Carolyn Malone, Jerrold Nadler, and Michael McMahon.
the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner also played
a critical role in moving H.R. 847 to the Senate.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)
and Senator Kristen Gillibrand
(D-NY) made the James Zadroga 9/11 Health
and Compensation bill the Senate’s top priority. They were able
to work with Senate Leadership to expedite the passage of this bill.
Both Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Tom Coburn (R-OK)
took the time to work in a bipartisan fashion to move forward H.R.
847. NAPO thanks them for their commitment to Law Enforcement.
NAPO was instrumental in coordinating Senate efforts
by working to educate the Senate staff on the importance of this
legislation. Not only did NAPO lobby on behalf of this bill, we
served as a facilitator
of communications between both political parties to create sensible
funding solutions and compromises. The International Association
of Firefighters also worked hard to represent all of their membership
affected by 9/11.
Most importantly, NAPO members made the difference
by taking the time to call, write, or meet with their Senators regarding
this bill. Among Law Enforcement agencies, NAPO took a leadership
role in the efforts for passage of this bill.
After the attacks, responders from all over
America came to help. It is only fitting that the entire nation,
then, comes together now to provide for the medical care and treatment
of those who sacrificed their own health in an effort to protect
America. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is now history. NAPO
will continue to represent and protect the men and women in Law
Enforcement and all Americans in the future interest in the implementation
of this bill.
Thomas J. Nee
William J. Johnson
, Executive Director