By Mike Dunn

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A city councilman says grandchildren of fallen Philadelphia police officers and firefighters should get the same civil service hiring preferences that are now given to the children.

Councilman Brian O’Neill represents much of Northeast Philadelphia, home to a sizable portion of the city’s police and firefighters.

Though, he admits it’s not his idea. “One of my constituents, who is a firefighter, suggested it, and I had never thought about it.”

The suggestion: “It would extend the preference in the testing that we now give to children of firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty, to grandchildren as well.”

O’Neill says this is particularly appropriate for those who died in the line of duty many years ago.

“Their children are grown, and their grandchildren are eligible to be either police officers or firefighters. This is about respect and about memory and about ‘thank you.’ So, I think it’s a good idea.”

This would mean a 10-point credit given to eligible applicants on the civil service exams. The idea requires voter approval of a change in the city charter. Assuming his colleagues go along, O’Neill hopes for a referendum on the plan to be put to Philadelphia voters in the November general election.