Sen. Joe Robach, Senate Pass Legislation to Protect Our Heroic First Responders

March 20, 2018

Each and every day, brave and dedicated law enforcement officers, firefighters, corrections officers, and medical service personnel put their lives on the line to protect the lives, health and safety of New Yorkers. Unfortunately, far too many of these heroes have been targeted with violence simply because they wear a first responder uniform.

That is why Sen. Robach and the New York State Senate were proud to support a package of bills recently passed in the Senate that will increase protections for these heroic New Yorkers, including the Community Heroes Protection Act, which would designate crimes explicitly committed against law enforcement and first responders punishable as "hate crimes."

This significant package of legislation also will:

-Establish the crime of making a terroristic threat against a police officer, including the intent to coerce the public to murder, assassinate or kidnap officers; 
-Prohibit civilian drone use within 1,000 feet of a correctional facility, as drones have been used to smuggle contraband and weapons into prisons;
- Help protect retired police officers from retaliation by individuals who had been arrested by the officers when they were still on active duty;
-Allow correctional facilities to use TSA body scanners as part of an effort to reduce a high level of inmate “slashing” violence from smuggled blades;
-Increase penalties for criminals who target law enforcement through vehicle vandalism; and
-Expand “line of duty sick leave” to include every public officer or employee who, on the job, engaged in World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup activities;

This legislation sends a clear message that the Senate stands by our law enforcement representatives. I hope that the Assembly and Governor will finally join us in providing these heroic New Yorkers with the support and protections they deserve.