TOPEKA – (January 12, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday requested introduction of a bill to increase criminal penalties for crimes that target law enforcement officers.
“Crimes against law enforcement officers are more than an offense against the individual person,” Schmidt said. “They also are an offense against the legitimate authority to enforce law and order in our communities. At a time when too many around the country have leveled unfair criticism at the men and women serving in law enforcement, I hope Kansas will show its strong support by enacting this additional protection.”
Current law has enhanced penalties for specific crimes targeting officers, such as assault, battery or first degree premeditated murder. The new legislation, called the Law Enforcement Protection Act, would provide a broad rule that any crime targeting an officer is subject to enhanced penalties.
The bill, if enacted, would provide that when a prosecutor proves that a crime was committed against a law enforcement officer, either while the officer was on duty or because of the officer’s status as a law enforcement officer, the sentence for the crime would be enhanced by one severity level.
Schmidt said he has been encouraged by the supportive reaction the bill has received from lawmakers and is hopeful the Legislature will give the bill strong consideration.