New law provides survivor benefits for family of Wildlife & Fisheries cadet
BATON ROUGE - The family of a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries cadet who died during training last year is now eligible to receive survivor benefits because of a law passed last week.
The legislation, ACT 378, was signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards June 20. It allows spouses and children of cadets that died before completing training to receive full financial benefits even though "the cadets were not fully commissioned LDWF agents at the time of their death."
Cadet Immanuel Washington died on July 19, 2018, after collapsing at a training facility in Baton Rouge.
LDWF officials say without the legislation, Washington's family wouldn't be entitled to survivor benefits.
“We felt it was only fair to extend the benefits to the immediate families of cadets that were training to become wildlife and fisheries agents,” said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division. “It was a very unfortunate event to lose Immanuel during training and we felt we owed it to him and his family to get this changed.”
Officials say the new law also extends to members of the Louisiana State Police, including any cadet participating in the LSP Training Academy on or after July 1, 2018.