NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Police commissioner issued another plea on Friday, calling for more funding for first responders, sickened as a result of the terror attacks on 9/11.
This as the NYPD added more names of officers to its police memorial, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
Friday is Peace Officers Memorial Day and 47 names were added to that memorial in the lobby of One Police Plaza. Commissioner James O’Neill said those who died were all casualties of Sept. 11, 2001.
“These names are a reminder that the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, has not ended for us, for our families or for our great city. We lost so much that day and it’s not over,” O’Neill said. “They represent something else, too — the very real risk cops face when they put on their uniforms and go to work.”
“And we never can forget what they sacrificed. We can never forget who they were and their decision to do something that so few can do,” Mayor Bill de Blasio added.
O’Neill pointed out that 23 NYPD officers were killed on 9/11 and hundreds more from the Department have died from related illnesses since.
The pleas are now growing stronger as time continues to run out for funding for the sick. Commissioner O’Neill wrote an op-ed and tweeted, calling on Congress to act.
“We can’t place a financial cap or temporal limit on this human crisis,” O’Neill said.
The James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act of 2010 provided assistance and compensation for five years and was then reauthorized for an additional five years after that. But the fund is running out and set to close by December 2020.
Back in February, a bi-partisan effort on Capitol Hill, led by officials from New York, announced the Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act. If passed, it would fully fund the VCF and make it permanent.
But there has been no action since.
Officials say thousands more are expected to be diagnosed with 9/11-related cancers.
In February, the VCF announced that funding shortfall and said cuts of 50-70 percent would affect injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors. The police commissioner added estimates of the damage done were too low in both 2010 and 2015 and nearly 17,000 claims have yet to be decided.