Judiciary Committee Hears Sen. Luetkemeyer’s Witness Relocation Funding Proposal

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on legislation sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, that would provide funding to law enforcement agencies to provide security for witnesses in criminal proceedings or investigations.

Senator Tony Luetkemeyer presents SB 857 to the Senate’s Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 857 establishes The Pretrial Witness Protection Services Fund. Administered by the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the fund would help cover costs incurred by local law enforcement agencies as they provide housing and security for witnesses, potential witnesses and their immediate families. Funds will be subject to appropriation by the General Assembly.

“We need to get violent criminals off our streets, but we can’t do that if witnesses to crimes are too scared for their own safety to come forward,” said Sen. Luetkemeyer. “By providing some additional funding to law enforcement and some peace of mind to witnesses, I believe this legislation can help put more dangerous criminals behind bars where they belong.”

The legislative proposal was brought forward by the mayors of Missouri’s four largest cities and garnered the support of the governor during his State of the State Address in January. During the hearing, police chiefs and mayors from several of Missouri’s largest cities testified in support of SB 857, stating the legislation could help address crime in Missouri’s major metro areas.

For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit senate.mo.gov/mem34.