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Kaine Welcomes DOJ’s Approval of Benefits for Family of Officer Howie Liebengood

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement welcoming the Department of Justice’s approval of benefits through the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program for Serena Liebengood, the wife of Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood of Vienna, Virginia, who died by suicide after protecting the Capitol from insurrectionists on January 6. Kaine weighed in to support the approval of the benefits.

“Officer Howie Liebengood was often one of the very first people I saw at the Capitol every day and was well known to my entire staff. It was clear that being a U.S. Capitol Police Officer was more than a job to him—he was a man who dedicated his life to serving others and spent 15 years defending the halls of democracy. His death in the wake of the horrors of the January 6 insurrection was a heartbreaking loss for his family and for every American who believes in the promise of our democratic institutions. We have a responsibility to carry with us his spirit of service and to give his family the recognition and unwavering support they deserve. That’s why I urged the Department of Justice to approve Public Safety Officers’ Benefits for his wife Serena. I am gratified she’s getting those much-deserved benefits today.”

The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program provides benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

Kaine is an original sponsor of the Public Safety Officer Support Act, legislation that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in August of 2022 to improve the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program to allow families of officers who die by trauma-linked suicide to apply for death benefits.