ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) - A bill currently making its way through the State Legislature would make it a crime to annoy a police officer, a move that could have far reaching consequences.
The State Senate passed the bill Wednesday that makes it felony to "harass, annoy, threaten or alarm" an on duty police officer by subjecting them to any physical contact.
A press release from the NYS Senate originally stated, "The bill (S.2402), sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo (R-C-I, Rome) would make it a felony to harass, annoy, or threaten a police officer while on duty." However, as the bill is written, a person would be guilty of aggravated harassment of a police officer if he or she subjected that officer to physical contact with the intent to "harass, annoy, threaten or alarm" that officer.
The bill was sponsored by local Senators Pat Gallivan, George Maziarz and Michael Ranzenhofer, as well as Senator Joe Griffo (R) of Rome.
Griffo stated, "Police officers who risk their lives every day in our cities and on our highways deserve every possible protection, and those who treat them with disrespect, harass them and create situations that can lead to injuries deserve to pay a price for their actions."
Anyone found guilty under the bill, should it become law, could face up to four years in prison.
The bill is now on its way to the State Assembly.
The exact language of the bill follows. You can also find it online here.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to aggravated harassment of peace officers or police officers
PURPOSE: To establish the crime of aggravated harassment of a police officer or peace officer and make such crime a class E felony.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one amends the penal law by adding a new section 240.33 establishing the crime of aggravated harassment of a police officer or peace officer.
Section two is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Police officers all across this state put their lives on the line every day to protect the people of New York. New York State must establish laws and toughen existing laws that protect the police from becoming victims of criminals. Far too many law enforcement officers are being harassed, injured, even killed while honoring their commitment to protect and serve this state. The Legislature has a responsibility to do everything we can to protect our brave heroes, our police officers, from violent criminals. This legislation contributes to that premise
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12 S. 2322 Passed Senate/A. 8099 Codes Committee.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
January 17, 2013
Introduced by Sens. GRIFFO, DeFRANCISCO, GALLIVAN, LARKIN, LIBOUS, MAZIARZ, RANZENHOFER, SEWARD, YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes
AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to aggravated harassment of peace officers or police officers
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 240.33 to read as follows:
S 240.33 AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT OF A POLICE OFFICER OR PEACE OFFICER.
A PERSON IS GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT OF A POLICE OFFICER OR PEACE OFFICER WHEN, WITH THE INTENT TO HARASS, ANNOY, THREATEN OR ALARM A PERSON WHOM HE OR SHE KNOWS OR REASONABLY SHOULD KNOW TO BE A POLICE OFFICER OR PEACE OFFICER ENGAGED IN THE COURSE OF PERFORMING HIS OR HER OFFICIAL DUTIES, HE OR SHE STRIKES, SHOVES, KICKS OR OTHERWISE SUBJECTS SUCH PERSON TO PHYSICAL CONTACT.
AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT OF A POLICE OFFICER OR PEACE OFFICER IS A CLASS E FELONY.
S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
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