WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) led their colleagues in introducing the Protect and Serve Act, legislation that would create federal penalties for individuals who deliberately target local, state or federal law enforcement officers with violence.
“There is great risk involved in being a law enforcement officer, but the additional threat of ambushes and targeted attacks make the job harder and more dangerous for our men and women in blue,” said Sen. Moran. “Violence against law enforcement is unacceptable; that is why I am joining my colleagues in introducing this legislation to create federal penalties for attacks on any law enforcement officer, whether a Capitol Police officer or a Kansas patrolman or patrolwoman.”
“Law enforcement officers in North Carolina and across the country are heroes who risk their lives every day to protect our communities,” said Sen. Tillis. “Those who commit senseless acts of violence against law enforcement officers must be held accountable for their actions, which is why I am proud to reintroduce this legislation that creates federal penalties for criminals who target law enforcement. They put their lives on the line to protect us, and we should do the work in Congress to protect them.”
The Protect and Serve Act would support law enforcement officers by:
- Making it a federal crime to knowingly cause, or attempt to cause, serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer. Offenders are subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years.
- Ensuring an offender could receive a life sentence if a death results from the offense, or the offense includes kidnapping, attempted kidnapping or attempted murder.
This law would apply to federal law enforcement officers and would also apply to state and local officers in circumstances where the federal government can establish jurisdiction over the case.
In 2020, 360 officers died in the line of duty and 47 officers were shot and killed. In 2021, 15 officers have been intentionally killed in the line of duty, including Capitol Hill Police Officer Brian David Sicknick who was killed as a result of the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The Protect and Serve Act has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants Benevolent Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Sheriffs Association, North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Major County Sheriffs Association.
# # #