Dallas, TX: On July 18, Governor Greg Abbott announced a legislative effort to strengthen penalties for crimes committed against law enforcement officers: The Police Protection Act.
In a Statement released by Gov. Abbott, he said he will request the Texas Legislature pass the Police Protection Act in the upcoming 2017 legislative session. The Act includes the following proposals:
• Extend hate crime protections to law enforcement officers;
• Increase criminal penalties for any crime in which the victim is a law enforcement officer, whether or not the crime qualifies as a hate crime;
• Create a culture of respect for law enforcement by organizing a campaign to educate young Texans on the value law enforcement officers bring to their communities
Under current law, assault with bodily injury is generally punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, while assault on a public servant, including a law enforcement officer, is a 3rd degree felony. Under Governor Abbott’s proposal, in cases where the assault is on a law enforcement officer, the penalty would increase to a 2nd degree felony.
"I give my sincere gratitude to police officers across our state," said Rep. Koop. "Texas can step forward as a leader protecting the lives of our law enforcement officers. I support Governor Abbott's step toward protecting those who put their lives on the line for us every day."
The Act has been applauded by the Dallas and Houston Police Associations, the Texas Municipal Police Association, and the Sheriff's Association of Texas.
Contact: Ashley Mann