Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer Presents Max’s Law to Increase Penalty for Killing K-9 Officers

JEFFERSON CITY — Causing injury or death to a police dog would be an enhanced felony offense under legislation presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville. Known as “Max’s Law,” Senate Bill 765 was inspired by the killing of a St. Joseph Police K-9 officer.

Senator Tony Luetkemeyer was joined by St. Joseph Police Officer Dillon Powell and his K-9 partner Thazer in presenting Senate Bill 765 to the Judiciary Committee.

“Under current Missouri law, killing a K-9 officer is treated no more seriously than property damage,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “Max’s Law recognizes the contributions of these heroic animals and ensures that individuals who take the life of a K-9 officer are subject to a punishment that fits the crime.”

Under existing law, assault on a law enforcement animal is a Class C misdemeanor. Senate Bill 765 elevates the offense to a Class A misdemeanor if the animal is not injured to the point of requiring veterinary care. The crime becomes a Class E felony when a police dog is seriously injured, or a Class D felony if the animal dies.

Senator Luetkemeyer’s legislation is named after Max, a K-9 officer killed in the line of duty while his handler, St. Joseph Police Officer Lucas Winder, helped serve a warrant related to domestic assault in June 2020.

For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit