Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Treasurer Folwell Asks N.C. Industrial Commission to Approve “Line-of-Duty” Death for Sgt. Philip Nix

Also Requests Attorney General’s Office to Prioritize Officer-Involved Investigations at Crime Lab
Raleigh, NC
Jan 17, 2024

State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, today requested that the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) approve a “line-of-duty” death for Greensboro Police Sgt. Philp Dale Nix, who was killed on Dec. 30, 2023, while trying to stop a robbery at a convenience store in Greensboro. Three suspects were apprehended after shooting Sgt. Nix and fleeing the scene. Sgt. Dix was a 23-year veteran of the Greensboro Police Department and a supervisor of its Family Victims’ Unit operated out of the Family Justice Center.

“It is imperative that we support our men and women in blue as they put their lives on the line 24 hours a day,” Treasurer Folwell said. “Every officer I know is ‘on duty’ when he or she is out in public. Sgt. Nix was a selfless public servant who exemplified what it means to be trusted with protecting our citizens. That’s what he was doing when he was brutally murdered.”

The Public Safety Employees’ Death Benefits Act (Act) authorizes the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) to award a $100,000 death benefit when a law-enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty. Specifically, it provides this death benefit for a law-enforcement officer “who is killed or dies as a result of bodily injuries sustained . . . in the course and scope of his or her official duties while in the discharge of his or her official duty or duties.”  

The Act further authorizes the NCIC to award an additional death benefit in the amount of $100,000 when a law-enforcement officer is murdered in the line of duty. Once a decision to award death benefits is made by the NCIC, notice is subsequently sent to the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer (NCDST) and payment of the awarded benefit(s) is made by the NCDST in accordance with the decision of the NCIC.

“From everything I’ve read, and everyone I’ve talked to, Sgt. Nix was both killed and murdered in the line of duty,” said Treasurer Folwell. “Although it is up to the Industrial Commission, I strongly support providing death benefits totaling $200,000 in the case of Sergeant Nix. Once that determination is made, we will expedite the payment.”

Treasurer Folwell also sent a letter to Attorney General Josh Stein and the North Carolina Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting that the State Crime Laboratory, housed under the DOJ, ensure that any investigation related to Sgt. Nix (or any other state or local employee) is given priority at the State Crime Laboratory. The letter added that, “[T]his will help expedite the payment of Sergeant Nix’s line-of-duty death benefits to his surviving beneficiary(ies) …”

“It is essential that the Crime Lab get their work done as fast as possible,” added Treasurer Folwell. “Hopefully, this will be done in a matter of days.”

The North Carolina Retirement Systems Division (RSD) works with families and/or representatives to make sure death benefits are paid as soon as possible. In 2023, almost $119 million was paid to member beneficiaries or their estates. In the case of public safety workers, RSD works on behalf of the member to identify all additional benefits that may be available, including a line-of-duty death benefit that is jointly administered by the North Carolina Industrial Commission and the Department of State Treasurer. This benefit is doubled when a public safety worker is murdered on the job.

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