Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Treasurer Folwell ‘Horrified’ at Death of Four Officers in Charlotte

Requests Retirement Services Division to Expedite Benefits
Raleigh, NC
Apr 30, 2024

State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, today said that the Department of State Treasurer (DST) and the Retirement Systems Division (RSD) will “do everything in our power” to get benefits paid for the officers killed in yesterday’s tragic attack that left four officers dead and another four wounded. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Joshua Eyer and N.C. Department of Corrections Officers Sam Poloche and William Alden Elliott were all murdered while trying to serve warrants in Charlotte as part of a U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. The U.S. Marshals Service identified the fourth slain officer as Deputy Marshal Thomas “Tommy” Weeks.

Officer Eyer is part of Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System (LGERS), and Officers Poloche and Elliott are part of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS), both administered by DST. Both plans provide death benefits to members of the systems.

“This is a devastating day for law enforcement officers and all North Carolinians,” Treasurer Folwell said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the officers’ families and the entire law enforcement community. We will do everything in our power to make sure benefits are paid as quickly as possible.”

Treasurer Folwell indicated that he will also ask the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) to approve “line of duty” death benefits for all officers. 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 DST and payment of the awarded benefit(s) is made by DST in accordance with the decision of the NCIC.

“No amount of money will make this right for the families,” said Treasurer Folwell. “We just want to do what’s right so that the families can grieve and not worry about finances.”

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 NCIC and DST. This benefit is doubled when a public safety worker is murdered on the job.

For more information, visit www.nctreasurer.com​.