MEMPHIS, Tenn. — According to family, Memphis Police Officer Alex Shindler passed away Monday after a long battle with COVID-19.
The Memphis Police Association posted to social media and highlighted Officer Shindler’s 12 years of service, writing, “Please remember Alex, his family, and his co-workers in thoughts and prayers as we mourn his death.”
Shindler, who the police union said was 35 with a wife and two children, is one of at least four Mid-South officers to die from COVID in recent weeks, adding to a growing total since the pandemic began.
Mississippi State Rep. Tom Miles of Scott and Rankin Counties is now working on a bill that would compensate families of officers, other first responders and frontline healthcare workers who die from COVID. Under the legislation, those families would receive $100,000.
“They’re putting their lives on the line out there every single day when they’re out there trying to keep us healthy and safe,” Rep. Miles said. “What better way to invest back into these families that have lost a loved one that don’t have that income coming in anymore. It’s not going to bring back their loved one but it might help a little along the way.”
Miles says Mississippi families are currently compensated when officers die in the line of duty but he wants COVID to also apply. He claims former President Trump made that change at the federal level.
“If you’re doing it for federal we should do it for the state,” Rep. Miles said.
Miles suggests the initiative be funded by another round of federal dollars already headed to Mississippi for COVID relief.
“We need to get this done especially when we have this money coming in so these families are taken care of,” Rep. Miles said.
How fast it gets done is in question. Lawmakers may be called back for a special session in the coming days. If that doesn’t happen, they’ll have to wait for the regular session in January.
It’s unclear if Tennessee and Arkansas are considering similar measures.