Alabama Chiefs of Police promoting bill to enhance penalty for offenders targeting first responders

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Members of the law enforcement community headed to the state’s capital Wednesday to show their support for a new bill with a press conference.

The conference, held on the front steps of the Alabama State House, was to promote a bill that will “enhance the penalty for offenders who target members of the public safety community in their official capacity.”

Rep. Phillip Pettus of Lauderdale County is sponsoring the legislation. Chief Tommie Reese of AACOP and members of the law enforcement community from all across the State of Alabama spoke on several key issues that are being considered this legislative session that affect the public safety community.

Reese highlighted the amount of law enforcement officer deaths that have happened over the past few years, including Baton Rouge and Dallas. He said he hopes the legislation, if it passes, will make possible offenders think twice before targeting officers or first responders.

“I’m a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. You leave home every day, not knowing if you’re going to make it back home to your family. And these officers, firefighters, paramedics leave home the same way. Want to make it back home to their family. And we have people that want to do harm them just because they wear the badge or the uniform. We want to make sure our officers and public safety responders are safe,” Reese said.

Several other police chiefs spoke, including one who spoke out strongly against Rep. Allen’s bill to allow Alabamians to carry guns without a permit.

“If this legislation passes, it will be detrimental to public safety in the state of Alabama,” he emphasized.

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