Lawmakers approve bipartisan bill to enhance
federal penalties for targeting law enforcement
H.R. 5698, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, today passed the House by a vote of 382-35. This bipartisan bill, which now goes to the Senate for consideration, would create federal penalties for individuals who deliberately target local, state, or federal law enforcement officers with violence.
Upon the House’s passage of this legislation, Congressman Rutherford released the following statement:
“As a career law enforcement officer and former sheriff of Jacksonville, I know what officers go through every day when they put on their uniform and head out to keep our communities safe,” said Rutherford. “This is why I am proud that the Protect and Serve Act was passed by the House today with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“Sadly, we have seen a recent increase in violence against officers, especially in ambush style attacks. This bill creates steep consequences for anyone who targets officers and intentionally tries to do them harm. During National Police Week, as we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018 shows law enforcement officers across the country that we in Congress support them in the important and dangerous work that they do each day.”
This year alone, 87 officers have been shot in the line of duty, 28 of whom lost their lives. This is 75 percent higher than this time last year. These numbers show a significant, growing trend of armed attacks on law enforcement officers, and todays passage of H.R. 5698 is the first step in preventing more of these tragedies.
The Protect and Serve Act was endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, Major County Sheriffs, Sergeants Benevolent Association, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. Congressman Rutherford’s floor remarks on the bill can be found here.