Dutchess officials work on legislation to help probation officers hurt on the job

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Dutchess County legislators are calling for change following a horrific dog attack on a probation officer.

On June 30, 2018, Probation Officer Michele Pfeil went to the Town of Milan to conduct an employment check.

When she got out of her car, two great Danes, that were allegedly trained to attack, tore open her arms, legs and knocked her unconscious.

Pfeil nearly bled to death and spent many months in the hospital and in recovery.

She was approaching her 29th year on the job at the time - one year shy from retiring with a full pension. However, the days spent healing set her back six months.
Democratic County Legislator Rebecca Edwards says there's now legislation in the works that would expand to cover probation officers, if they were ever to get hurt on the job. It would include full pay, benefits and cover hospitalizations while they recover. Currently, other peace officers in the county have this safety net, but not probation officers.

County Chairman Gregg Pulver told News 12 that Gov. Andrew Cuomo says this type of legislation is illegal and improper because it’s reserved for union contracts.

In a statement, he said, “In this instance, members of the Legislature are not a part of the contract negotiations and I hope that their new contract grants adequate protections for their dangerous line of work."

If the legislation passes, officials say it could benefit the county's 100 probation officers.


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