• Three police officers were killed Sunday near Lille in a head-on collision with a driver who was traveling in the opposite direction.
  • A national tribute was paid to them on Thursday, in the presence of the head of state, at the national police academy in Roubaix.
  • During this tribute, they were promoted to police captains, decorated with the Legion of Honor and their children received the status of wards of the Nation.

The grateful nation. Thursday, through the head of state, it is the entire France who paid tribute to the three Roubaix policemen, killed Sunday by a driver, in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, near Lille. During the ceremony, they were decorated with the insignia of the Legion of Honor, promoted to the rank of police captain and assured of seeing their children become wards of the nation. So many distinctions offering the families of the disappeared, in addition to the honor they represent, a support from the State which, however advantageous it may be, will never replace a spouse or a parent.

Medals for glory

During his speech on Thursday, on the Place d'Armes of the National Police School of Roubaix, Emmanuel Macron wanted above all to "pay tribute" to the fate of the three officials killed and to reaffirm "respect and affection to those who serve and protect". Tribute that the Head of State materialized by awarding to the guardians of peace the insignia of Knight of the Legion of Honor posthumously. Like the gold medal for act of courage and dedication, awarded to these same police officers by the prefect on Monday, the Legion of Honor brings almost no material benefit. Admittedly, the recipients can claim an annual salary, but it is derisory, up to 6.10 euros for the rank of knight.

According to the Grand Chancellery of the Legion of Honor, girls, granddaughters and great-granddaughters of holders of this distinction can claim to integrate one of the two "houses of education" to complete a school career from college to post-baccalaureate classes. Schools that display 100% success in the brevet and the bac, where we wear the uniform and for which places are expensive: only a thousand students at a rate of about 2,000 euros per school year.

Posthumous promotion

In addition to the medals, the three police officers were promoted. From peacekeepers, the first rank of the supervisory and enforcement corps, they have become police captains, second rank of the command corps. "It is first of all a way to pay tribute to them, but it plays especially for the family of the civil servant in the calculation of the survivor's pension," explains to 20 Minutes a delegate of the union Unité SGP. The survivor's pension is an allowance paid to the spouse and children of the deceased police officer that is "equal to 50% of the pension obtained by the public servant or that he could have obtained on the day of his death". It is calculated on the basis of the remuneration of the civil servant therefore, mathematically, will be higher for a captain than for a peacekeeper. On the other hand, obtaining this pension is subject to conditions, in particular to have been married.

Promotion to the rank of captain will also determine the death benefit "paid to the dependants of the official who died in service". According to the Guide to the Families of Police Personnel Killed on Mission, the amount of the death benefit "is equal to the last annual salary of activity" and it "varies on the one hand, depending on the circumstances in which the death took place and on the other hand, according to the family situation".

Wards of the Nation

State support is even more pronounced for the children of fallen police officers. Granting the status of ward of the nation to orphans of civil servants "who died for the service of the nation" is tantamount to adopting them for the State. It is, in a way, the assurance for these children never to be left to themselves, regardless of their family situation. According to the National Office of Combatants and War Victims (ONaCVG), which manages children wards of the Nation, this status allows children and their families to benefit from many aids. This ranges from the basic maintenance of the child (care, clothing, food, leisure), to the costs of health, education, until the entry into working life. This status is not reserved for the children of public servants, but is accessible to the children of victims, or victims themselves, of terrorist acts.

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