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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Grossell (R)

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RELEASE: House Passes Police Protection Package

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ST. PAUL – On Wednesday, the House voted on police protection bills authored by Public Safety Chair Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge) and Rep. Matt Grossell (R-Clearbrook). Chair Johnson’s bill (HF3610) would increase the penalty for assaulting a police officer and Rep. Grossell's (HF3611) bill would prevent police disarmament by local agencies. HF 3610 passed 101-24 and HF 3611 passed unanimously 126-0.

“I am proud to author this bill to increase penalties for assaulting law enforcement officers,” said Rep. Johnson, a former law enforcement officer. “Those that seek to harm officers are dangerous people who need to be appropriately held accountable. When officers are assaulted, they are often in a fight for their lives, and it is important we take this step to better ensure the safety of the men and women who selflessly serve our communities every day."

Chair Johnson's bill will change a physical assault against a peace officer from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. It will carry a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison or a fine up to $4,000, or both.

“Today the House sent a clear message to Minnesotans that we stand with law enforcement across Minnesota,” said Rep. Grossell. “It's a daily reality for law enforcement that situations that go from non-threatening and escalate to life-threatening. The bill passed today shows law enforcement officers across this state that we have their back and will make sure they have the tools to do their jobs.”

Rep. Grossell’s bill will prevent a mayor, city council, county board, or chief law enforcement officer from disarming a peace officer who is in good standing and not currently under investigation or subject to disciplinary action. Rep. Grossell, who was shot in the line of duty while responding to a minor disturbance call, authored this bill in response to calls from local politicians proposing to disarm police.

Another bill by Rep. Grossell to increase the penalties for physically assaulting firefighters and medical personnel passed unanimously 125-0.