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Dec. 13, 2017
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Minutes for HB2049 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Increasing criminal penalties for crimes committed against a law enforcement officer; the law enforcement protection act.

Minutes Content for Fri, Mar 17, 2017

Jason Thompson gave a brief on the bill saying it enacts the Law Enforcement Protection Act which provides special sentencing when an offender commits a specific crime against a law enforcement officer.

Proponents:

Derek Schmidt began his support (Attachment 3) of the bill saying that it is not a new concept and explained that some crimes against law enforcement officers already impose a double sentence.  He than gave an example where two officers were attacked.  He explained that the Kansas Attorney General's Office has observed a need for legislation like this and reiterated that this bill would remedy a shortcoming by creating a special sentencing rule for crimes targeted at law enforcement officers.

During the question and discussion period, the Committee gained insight into topics such as whether the new punishment within the bill is an effective deterrent, the need for officers to be identifiable and in the law enforcement uniform when an act is committed against them, uniformity in statutes, infractions covered by this bill, and adding other 'public officials' to those against whom crimes are perpetrated.

Ed Klumpp shared his support (Attachment 4) of HB 2049 by explaining that it enhances penalties for crimes committed against law enforcement officers who are engaged in the performance of their duty.   He commented that the respect of law enforcement that the public had in the 70s is no longer a part of culture today, and that officers now are attacked simply for being officers.  He explained that while there is not a large number of cases, this bill is important because an attack on a law enforcement officer is an attack on society. He concluded by reiterating that this bill shows solid support for law enforcement officers.

Items that were addressed during the discussion period included adding attacks on spouse and family of law enforcement officers, which was said to need to be carefully crafted to stay connected to the officers. In addition the Committee discussed issues as they pertained to crowded and crowd control situations.

Hans Asmussen shared support (Attachment 5) for this bill saying that a police officer's authority comes from society so such crimes against and officer are crimes against society.

Chairman Wilborn noted written, proponent, testimony from Amanda Stanley (Attachment 6), and seeing no further conferees, questions, or comments, closed the hearing.