The Governor of Texas announced a new initiative to increase penalties for those who commit crimes against law enforcement officers.
Known as the Police Protection Act, Governor Greg Abbott seeks to ensure that any crimes committed against police out of bias or discrimination will be treated as a hate crime.
“At a time when law enforcement officers increasingly come under assault simply because of the job they hold, Texas must send a resolute message that the State will stand by the men and women who serve and protect our communities,” said Governor Abbott.
According to an official press release, Governor Abbott’s Police Protection 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
“While our state and the nation continue to mourn the heroes lost in Dallas, it is time for us to unite as Texans to say no more,” Governor Abbott said. “The men and women in uniform risk their lives every day to protect the public, and it is time we show them the State of Texas has their back. Texas will no longer tolerate disrespect for those who serve, and it must be made clear to anyone targeting our law enforcement officials that their actions will be met with severe justice.”
Several agencies, including the Texas Municipal Police Association and Dallas Police Association, have lauded the proposal.
“The Dallas Police Association applauds Governor Abbott’s bold plan in response to the recent wave of attacks on police officers,” said Ron Pinkston, president of the Dallas Police Association. “Now is the time for our elected leaders across our state and country to do the right thing and join our Governor in his call to better protect police officers.”
The Governor will request that the Texas legislature pass the new act in the 2017 legislative session.
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