On May 6, 2016, when Orange County held its 2016 Law Enforcement Memorial Service at the county courthouse, an NYPD officer who responded to the World Trade Center attacks and succumbed to post-9/11 illness was honored. Ronald Becker, a Navy veteran who served the NYPD for 21 years, made more than 50 arrests during his career, and was cited for Excellent Police Duty and Meritorious Police Duty, was stationed at the 42nd Precinct in the Bronx in 2001. A first responder on September 11, he participated in search-and-recovery efforts at Ground Zero. His illness forced him into retirement in 2006, and he died on August 19, 2012, at only 54 years of age. The ceremony will also honor Crawford Police Sergeant Eric Meier, who passed away while on duty September 17, 2015. The officers’ names will be added to the memorial that currently recognizes 28 local residents who served in law enforcement and “made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Seventy-one law enforcement officers were killed when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed on September 11, 2001, but 84 have died since, due to 9/11-related illnesses. Many more are sure to follow, as more than 70,000 people have applied for health screenings under the Zadroga Act.
As attorneys for 9/11 survivors, we applaud Orange County for recognizing Officer Becker as the line-of-duty casualty he was. The immense sacrifice that he and others made must never be forgotten.
Barasch & McGarry represents 9/11 survivors suffering from WTC-related illnesses. If you have questions about your rights under the Zadroga Act, call us at [ln::phone] or contact our office online.