Rep. Bennie Cook Sponsors Bill to Protect First Responders
Wed, 02/03/2021 - 11:56am admin
State Rep. Bennie Cook has filed his first bill in the Missouri Legislature. The subject is close to the heart of the Texas County Deputy Sheriff– adding crimes against first responders to the “hate crime” designation. House Bill 898 would add a victim’s employment as a law enforcement officer or first responder to motivations to be considered hate crimes.
According to Cook, this step is necessary to protect those who put their lives on the line to serve others. They frequently find themselves in dangerous situations, but they should not be subject to further harm by unruly mobs or onlookers.
“The point of this bill is to give some teeth to punishment of those who seek to harm first responders,” said Cook, R-Houston. “We’ve seen an increase in the last few years of people targeting law enforcement, and that’s simply not acceptable for someone who is serving the people.”
HB 898 is similar to SB 74 in the Senate. Cook’s bill has been referred to the Public Safety Committee for review.