POUGHKEEPSIE – Democratic minority members of the Dutchess County Legislature are lobbying for a local law that would allow county probation officers to receive the same protections provided to other peace officers in the county while recovering from wounds or injuries sustained on the job.
The issue came to light as Probation Officer Michele Pfeil, a 29-year veteran of the county department, continues to recuperate from near-fatal wounds inflicted by attack dogs back on June 30, 2018. She was conducting electronic monitoring of a probationer in the Town of Milan when two great Danes sank their teeth into her.
Minority Leader Rebecca Edwards doesn’t expect many similar cases, but said providing full line-of-duty pay for those in need would be a great help. “Nassau County did this a while back and there hasn’t been a huge rush of officers. I think it’s more the peace of mind for the officers because once in a blue moon this could happen to a probation officer. They are out working with criminals and people who are out on electronic monitoring and they are often out there in risky situations and I think just making sure that officer’s family is protected and they know it is there if they need it,” she said.
The county would need state approval to change the local law.
In the case of Officer Pfeil, she has returned to work, although still recovering and must remain on the job for about another five months in order to reach her 30-year mark for retirement.