Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for Feb. 24, 2021

Backing the Blue

Police officers have never had an easy job. Every day, these brave individuals – people who are our family, our friends and our neighbors – put their lives on the line to serve and protect our communities. The courage and selflessness they display while on the job makes them heroes. And yet, all across the country, these heroes have faced animosity and calls to defund or abolish their departments. In times like these, I believe police officers need our support more than ever.

The Senate recently finalized its version of Senate Bill 26, a public safety bill seeking to help law enforcement and first responders on several fronts. For instance, the bill prohibits dangerous felons who harm first responders from being eligible for probation, as well as stiffens penalties for those who block traffic. Just as an officer’s physical safety on the job is important, so is their mental well-being. With that in mind, another important aspect of the bill creates a fund to help provide law enforcement officers with services to cope with stress and trauma following emotionally difficult events.

In response to calls throughout our country to defund the police, SB 26 seeks to protect police budgets from being drastically and disproportionately reduced compared to other agencies. SB 26 also includes a so-called “Law Enforcement Bill of Rights,” which works to strengthen due process rights for officers when it comes to internal investigations.

I am happy to lend my support to SB 26, and to the men and women in uniform who admirably serve our communities. I am grateful for all they do to keep our communities safe during these difficult times.

As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at