Indiana lawmakers are pursuing new legislation aimed at protecting law-enforcement officers when they are off duty, in an announcement made Tuesday.
According to WISHTV, Republican State Senator Jim Merritt wishes to expand penalties “when a public safety officer or their family is harmed, on or off duty, just because they are known to be a police officer, firefighter or other public safety officer.”
Merritt said he wanted to do something to better safeguard the 16,000 public safety personnel in Indiana, following the recent rash of attacks on police.
“With the recent targeting and violence against police officers, it’s imperative for Indiana to update its laws to protect our public safety officers both on and off duty,” Merritt said. “These men and women risk their own safety in order to protect us. When others run away from danger, they run toward it, which is why protecting our finest is a priority of mine for the 2017 season.”
Merritt announced his proposal at a press conference late Tuesday morning, nearly a month after 27 year-old March Ratney was arrested after shooting up an off duty Indianapolis Metro PD officer’s home and car.
“When you see a police officer who takes a car home it is known as security throughout the neighborhood, now it might be a liability and so we want law that is going to protect our finest in their homes at night so their families can be safe,” Merritt said.
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