Senate Passes Bills to Increase Penalties for Violence Against Members of the Military and Law Enforcement

May 03, 2016

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to further protect the men and women who protect our communities from violent criminals. The bills strengthen penalties to help prevent members of the military and law enforcement from being targeted and assaulted while performing their important work.

A bill (S4379A) sponsored by Senator Thomas Croci (R, Sayville) creates a new crime for those who assault members of the military or reserves. Similar to the protections afforded to police officers, firefighters, peace officers and emergency medical technicians, the bill would create a Class C felony for those found guilty of targeting and assaulting members of the military and reserves to prevent them from working to protect the public.

Senator Croci, Chair of the Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs Committee, said, “Our uniformed service members, active reserve, and national guard alike, volunteered to serve and protect our safety and freedom. Too often we hear of horrific acts of aggression against them. This bill is our opportunity and responsibility to protect these men and women in uniform by ensuring that any assault on them will be met with the highest level of punishment the law allows. I urge my colleagues in the Assembly and the Governor to expeditiously pass this legislation and show the brave men and women who serve our country that we have their backs just the way they have ours.”

Another bill (S1457) sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) increases the penalties for certain violent offenses involving police or peace officers. The measure addresses the risks consistently violent felons pose to the public by authorizing a sentence of life without parole when a criminal commits an aggravated assault on a police or peace officer and has previously been convicted of two violent felonies that are classified as Class B or greater.

Senator Golden said, “Our police officers put their lives on the line every day. By increasing the penalties for those with past violent felony convictions that are then convicted of aggravated assault of a police officer, we will help prevent violent attacks against police officers.”

The bills will be sent to the Assembly. 

Senators Involved