New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Targeting Police & Emergency Services Personnel Would Be Hate Crime Under Kyrillos/Sarlo Legislation

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Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Protect First Responders

Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) and Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36) have introduced bipartisan legislation that would make it a hate crime to target a person due to their status as a law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel.

Bipartisan legislation by Sen. Joe Kyrillos and Sen. Paul Sarlo would make it a hate crime to target a person due to their status as a law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel. (Flickr)

The proposed legislation follows a string of deadly attacks where law enforcement officers have been targeted for violence.

“This legislation is a bipartisan statement that targeting police officers who serve our communities is not acceptable,” said Kyrillos. “Our police officers and first responders need to know that we’ll back them up when they put on their uniforms to go to work.”

“There has been a national outbreak of violence aimed at police officers and first responders that has had tragic consequences, resulting in death and injury,” said Senator Sarlo. “This will provide additional protections to the men and women who serve to protect us and to come to our aid in an emergency. If they are targeted because of the uniform they wear or the job they do it is by definition a hate crime.”

Five Dallas police officers were killed and at least seven officers injured in an ambush on July 7th. During a standoff with officers, the attacker told negotiators that he sought to kill police officers.

In 2014, a pair of NYPD officers was killed while sitting in a parked patrol car in Brooklyn in an “execution-style” shooting.

By classifying acts of physical violence against law enforcement officers and other first responders as hate crimes, the penalties upon conviction would be enhanced.

“We expect perfection of those in law enforcement despite the difficult jobs they do, and rarely do they fail to meet those great expectations,” said Kyrillos. “They deserve our support and respect.”

“An attack on members of the law enforcement community or on emergency responders is an attack on all of us and on our way of life,” said Senator Sarlo. “They want to intimidate us and frighten us, but we can’t allow that to happen. This law will send a message that we stand with the men and women in blue and that none of us will be intimidated.”

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