JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation to create a “Pretrial Witness Protection Services Fund” received final approval in the Missouri Senate and now goes to the governor for his signature. State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, carried the measure across the legislative finish line in the upper chamber.
Similar to legislation Sen. Luetkemeyer introduced early in 2020, House Bill 66 will enable law enforcement agencies to provide pretrial security for witnesses or potential witnesses in criminal proceedings. The bill passed today mirrors a provision contained in Senate Bill 1, a package of anti-crime proposals requested by the governor as he called the General Assembly into extraordinary session in July.
Five of the measures originally contained in SB 1 were subsequently reintroduced as separate bills by the House of Representatives. The creation of a pretrial witness protection fund received wide support from law enforcement officials, prosecutors and elected officials.
“Prosecutors can’t bring criminals to justice when witnesses are afraid to testify,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “The creation of this fund will provide law enforcement agencies the ability to ensure the safety of witnesses and give them the confidence to come forward and participate in prosecution.”
For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/luetkemeyer.