By PoliceOne Staff
NEW YORK — The State Senate passed a bill Wednesday that aims to make it a felony to “harass, annoy, or threaten a police officer while on duty.”
Bill S.2402, sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo, would potentially make it a crime for a person to make any type of physical action aimed at intimidating a police officer. Harassment of a police officer would be recognized as a Class E Felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.
“At a time when shocking incidents of disrespect and outright confrontation are at an all-time high, the men and women who patrol the streets of our cities deserve every possible protection we can offer them,” Senator Griffo stated, according to a press release.
Currently, an altercation between an officer and civilian that does not result in injury can only be punished by a violation. The proposed bill that could change that is being sent to the Assembly.
“Professionally, I am grateful to see this bill pass through the Senate. Our police officers have a very dangerous job and need the support of our government leaders to help make them safe,” said Utica Police Department Chief Mark Williams. “All too often persons are physically challenging police officers in the line of duty. The consequences are way too low for the offender and it sends the wrong message to the public.”