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Lafayette officers fill the City-Parish council meeting amidst concerns about the benefits for fallen officer's family

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Just two days after the killing of a Lafayette police officer in the line of duty, there are questions and concerns about the benefits for his family he leaves behind.

In a show of numbers, Corporal Michael Middlebrook's brothers and sisters in blue made a statement gathering at Tuesday night's Lafayette City- Parish council meeting after questions were raised about how long the city's insurance would continue for his family.

Right before the chief got up to speak- mayor president Joel Robideaux addressed those in attendance-- promising change- but not acknowledging exactly what would be different.

"We know there's things we need to work on administratively and we are in agreement that this needs to be taken care of. and if changes need to be made then changes will be made," Robideaux said.

Lafayette Police Chief Toby Aguillard addressed the council, praising  Cpl. Middlebrook's service to his community and compassion for others, but the chief did not address any issues about insurance.

"He is an enormous loss to our department, and he leaves a void behind in our city," said Aguillard.

After the meeting we asked Aguillard about the show of support, and he admitted that they were there over concerns about the benefits to Middlebrook's family.  He said he didn't want to speak on camera because the issue was addressed, and he was pleased with the result, but also wouldn't elaborate. 

We did have a chance to interview Mayor-President Joel Robideaux who says questions were raised about when coverage would end for the fallen officer's family but he says it was a misunderstanding and that has been cleared up.

"The health insurance is where I think there was some confusion. Certainly the federal law requires that you offer a Cobra, continuation of benefits, to any surviving spouse of an employee and that'll be the case. Cobra lasts up to 18 months," said Mayor- President Joel Robideaux. "But you don't have to take it and the employees spouse may find that it's better to find insurance outside of cobra so that’s why they give you the 18 months you don’t have to take it. you can find your own insurance if it's cheaper and under the affordable care act it this particular case it may be a better solution."

The last time a Lafayette Police officer was killed on-duty was 1969. We have requested a copy of the policy to see what Cpl. Middlebrook's family will receive and how long their benefits will last.

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