Acting Niagara County Sheriff introduces proposals to better protect police

Niagara County

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Acting Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti was joined by other local law enforcement officers to announce a series of proposals designed to better protect both police and the public.

Here are the proposals Filicetti spoke of during the conference:

  • Resisting Arrest — Make this a Class E felony
  • Failure to Retreat — Make this a Class D felony — This means a person must stay at least 25 feet away from a police officer engaged in their duties when ordered to halt or retreat.
  • Assault on a Police Officer — Increase the level of seriousness of each crime related to the assault of a police officer by one degree, and make them all crimes for which a judge could require the posting of bail.
  • Aggravated Harassment of a Police or Peace Officer — Make it a Class D felony to strike or attempt to strike any police or peace officer engaged in their duties with a substance or object. These include, but aren’t limited to bottles, rocks and bodily fluids.
  • Hate Crime Against a Police Officer — Make any crime committed against a police officer because of their status as a police officer a hate crime.
  • Aggravated Offering a False Accusation Against a Police Officer — Make it a Class D felony to falsely accuse a police officer or peace officer of wrongdoing in the performance of their duties. The proposal also calls for civil action for the officer against the accuser.
  • Criminal Doxing of a Police Officer or Peace Officer — Make it a Class D felony to dox a police or peace officer because of their status as an officer, or any other person because of their relationship to, or affiliation with, an officer.
  • Stalking a Police or Peace Officer — Make it a Class E felony to follow or survey a police or peace officer with no legitimate purpose, or get within 100 yards of an officer’s residence or place of lodging without the officer’s consent, for reasons related to the officer’s status or service, or for the purpose of intimidating the officer or their family.
  • Disability and Death Benefit — Provide a $500,000 benefit for police officers who are seriously disabled or die from injuries incurred in the line of duty, in order to provide a measure of security for the future of the officer and/or their family.
  • Police Memorial Day — Make May 15 a state holiday in honor of the more than 1,500 New York police officers who have died in the line of duty. This proposal also calls for an annual ceremony at the Police Memorial Wall in Albany on the Monday falling closest to May 1, where the Governor would be required to appear and read the names of officers who died from injuries incurred in the line of duty in the previous year.

Filicetti says these proposals will be sent to the state legislature.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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