Very soon the Woburn City Council will act on the home rule petition to grant Officer Robert DeNapoli disability retirement benefits. It is important that the citizens of Woburn are fully informed as to the facts in this matter and act to support a local hero:
Officer Robert DeNapoli sustained catastrophic injuries as first responder to a jewelry store robbery in Woburn on September 6, 2011. These include an amputated “trigger” finger, blindness in one eye, and muscle and nerve damage. He still has multiple pieces of shrapnel imbedded in his body, which are constantly moving, causing pain and continued damage.
Despite many surgeries and procedures, his condition will not improve and he is no longer able to perform his duties as a police officer.
Our state representatives drafted legislation to ensure Officer DeNapoli a full retirement package and presented it to Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin in October 2012. The mayor amended the package to reduce benefits and presented it to the City Council for a vote in June 2013.
The amended package was rejected by the City Council, which instead approved the original package, which granted 100 percent disability benefits. The mayor then sent it to the state Legislature without his signature. Because the state cannot act on the legislation without the mayor’s signature, it was returned to the city for endorsement by the mayor in July.
Mayor Galvin has since drafted new legislation that further reduces Officer DeNapoli’s benefits and changes the city’s obligation to pay medical expenses related to his injuries. This he attempted to present to the City Council in July. The council refused to accept it and will vote on the legislation during the August meeting.
We believe that Officer DeNapoli and all of our first responders deserve the respect and support of the community they have sworn to serve and protect.
We know that 47 of the 49 police officers shot in the line of duty or seriously and permanently injured have received 100 percent disability retirement.
We encourage all citizens to add their name to the petition that calls on Mayor Scott Galvin to sign the legislation that ensures that Officer DeNapoli received 100 percent of the benefits to which he is entitled.
It is the least we can do for the man who traded his future to serve and protect his community.