Every single shift, officers on duty face many risks. Every time they answer a call, they know the dangers. And every time they say goodbye to their families, it could be the last time they see them. And yet they wear the badge proudly and continue to protect and serve. Even with media bias breathing down their necks, and the novel Coronavirus rearing its ugly head, our officers continue to do their jobs day after day. So, this begs the question: They protect us- but who protects them?
Most of the rights and protections they receive come in the form of legislation. Lawmakers at state and federal levels control almost every aspect of officers’ lives-from city budgets and contracts, to dictating what is and is not a crime, retirement benefits, and more. Therefore, one of the very best ways to protect our men and women in blue is to pass new legislation that keeps them and their families safe.
The introduction of the “Law Enforcement Officers Defense & Welfare Act” (LEODWA) will do just that. This legislation would provide or extend a number of protections for our brave men and women in law enforcement. First, it would make the premeditated murder of a law enforcement officer fall under Federal Guidelines and Jurisdiction. The death benefit for Law Enforcement Officers killed under this Act would be equal to that of a federal agent, US Marshal, or any other member of federal law enforcement killed in the line of duty. The average public safety department is small and cannot even afford to give their first responders any type of insurance, let alone life insurance. Therefore, logically the Federal Government should give a death benefit for men and women that risk their lives to protect their communities and uphold the law.
The LEODWA would also exempt officers from civil lawsuits that occur prior to a criminal trial if an officer is charged with a crime. This section of the Law Enforcement Officers Defense and Welfare Act would prevent these frivolous Civil Lawsuits until the Officer has had his/her criminal trial. The sole purpose of this legislation is simply to protect our law enforcement officers from frivolous lawsuits and protect the public by way of giving our officers the protection they need to serve their communities effectively. Once guilt or innocence is determined by the court, then civil suits could still proceed under this proposed legislation.
Finally, this Act would also sentence those that intentionally kill a law enforcement official because of their duties or status as a public servant at least 20 years imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment or death for their crimes. Law enforcement officials risk life and limb for our safety. They are heroes that deserve the utmost respect, and the premeditated murder of our law and peacekeepers is one of the most heinous crimes that one can commit. Those that kill a police officer intentionally deserve the harshest punishment possible and are not fit to be part of our society. Therefore, the LEODWA calls for maximum sentences for cop killers to protect our officers and our communities as a whole.
Do you support this proposed legislation? Sign our petition here: bit.ly/defend-police