WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) today introduced the Retirement Equity for Pentagon Police Heroes Act of 2011, a bill to place Pentagon Police retirement benefits on par with Federal law enforcement officers government wide.
“As we remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the bravery of those who rushed into burning buildings as most ran away, it is particularly fitting to recognize the bravery of Pentagon Force Protection Agency Officers with this legislation,” Senator Akaka noted in his Congressional Record statement. “The men and women of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency were among the first to respond in the chaotic minutes after flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.”
Pentagon Police officers currently do not accrue retirement benefits at the same rate as Federal law enforcement officers. Senator Akaka’s bill would add Pentagon Police to the list of employees under the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees’ Retirement System who make larger retirement contributions than most Federal employees, and accrue retirement benefits at an enhanced rate. The higher accrual rate reflects the fact that law enforcement officers typically retire earlier than other employees due to the dangerous and demanding nature of their profession.
Senator Akaka recalled the heroic actions of one individual Pentagon Police officer from Hawaii on September 11, 2001: “Isaac Ho’opi’i rushed into the Pentagon and carried eight people out of the rubble, many of whom were badly burned. Many others made it out of the Pentagon thanks to Mr. Ho’opi’i, who became known as ‘the voice,’ because survivors remember him calling out for those lost in the smoke and debris to crawl towards the sound of his voice.” Mr. Ho’opi’i was awarded a Medal of Valor in 2002 for his bravery and quick thinking on that day.
Senator Akaka chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia.