Supporting Law Enforcement
More bills are beginning to hit the Senate floor, leading the chamber to burn the midnight oil. On Feb. 22, the Missouri Senate worked until the early morning of the following day to finalize its version of an important piece of public safety legislation, which aims to help protect those who protect us.
Senate Bill 26 shows we take serious the harm that comes to our police officers, firefighters and first responders by prohibiting dangerous felons who hurt them from being eligible for probation. Responding to some of the lawlessness and destruction we saw last summer, the bill also makes blocking or interfering with traffic a crime with increasing penalties for repeat offenders, as well as makes it illegal to vandalize a public monument or structure on public property. After hearing calls to defund the police from across the country, SB 26 seeks to protect police budgets from being drastically reduced compared to other agencies and ensure police departments continue to have the resources they need to keep their communities safe. Senate Bill 26 also includes a “Law Enforcement Bill of Rights,” which strengthens due process rights for officers involved in internal investigations. Lastly, the bill creates a fund to provide law enforcement officers with services to help cope with the stress and potential trauma of an emotionally difficult incident.
It’s been an incredibly difficult time for members of law enforcement lately, and they need our support now more than ever. I believe the provisions contained within SB 26 sends a strong message that we stand with the brave law enforcement and first responders all across this state, and that we are thankful of their service. I look forward to seeing SB 26 head to the Missouri House of Representatives and, ultimately, to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
I am honored to serve the citizens of the 8th Senatorial District. If there is anything I can do to serve you, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation for the 2021 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.