MO Senator wants harsher penalties for attacking law enforcement, first responders

MISSOURI (KFVS) - You depend on authorities to help out in serious situations, just like that one at Ohio State.

That's why a local Missouri State senator is filing a bill that would bring harsher penalties to people who assault law enforcement and first responders.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have been 132 line of duty deaths across the country so far this year.

Several states, including Missouri, have already laid out tougher penalties when it comes to crimes against law enforcement, but one senator said we need to do even more.

"Too many - we know about the Dallas shootings. We know what's going on all around the country," State Senator Doug Libla said.

He said that's why the law needs to change in Missouri, when officers and first responders become the target.

"I'm pre-filing a bill tomorrow that will enhancing penalties on criminals that attack our police officers, firemen and first responders."Libla said.

"We're still trying to do the job keep the public safe," said Don Trout, Deputy Chief of the Poplar Bluff Police Department.

He said officer safety is always top of mind.

"Stopping in a stop light, being aware of what's around you, who's around you... Times have changed drastically. That's something that never really entered your mind that much before but now that's how the attacks are happening," Trout said.

"We've had a lot of police shootings and it seemed like it spiked up tremendously just in the last couple of years. We need to let criminals know that if you assault or attack one of our police officers in the state of Missouri, you're going to pay a serious penalty."Libla said.

Those penalties are already set to increase in the new year, with law enforcement and emergency personnel considered special victims under state law.

But Senator Libla believes that's not enough.

"We've got to slow this epidemic down. Again, our police officers our first line of defense... For the public and at home," he said.

We'll learn more about Senator Libla's plan when it becomes public later this week.

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