Larkin Votes For Bills To Punish Impersonators

William J. Larkin, Jr.

June 06, 2006

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the State Senate has passed legislation he cosponsored that would increase the penalties on anyone caught impersonating a police officer or firefighter as well as anyone who knowingly misrepresents his or her identity to a police officer.

Senate bill 788 would make it a crime of grand larceny in the third degree for stealing a police officer’s badge or a firefighter’s identification. "Most people are probably unaware that hundreds of police and fire department badges and IDs are stolen across the country each year," said Senator Larkin. "This is obviously a serious danger to the public. Not only can innocent individuals be targeted for crimes, but if in the wrong hands, high security areas can be severely compromised. This bill would take strong action against anyone who illegally possesses these IDs."

In a similar provision, the Senate also passed S.971 which increases the penalties on anyone who knowingly misrepresents his or her identity to a police officer.

Stealing a person's identity to avoid prosecution for a crime is a serious offense that should be severely punished," said Senator Larkin. "Current law states that, before someone is found guilty, he or she must first be informed of the consequences of false personation. This legislation removes that unnecessary requirement. Also, the bill stiffens the penalty from a "B" misdemeanor to an "A" misdemeanor for this crime."

Both bills were sent to the Assembly.