- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 6, 2013

The New York State Senate passed a bill Wednesday that makes it a felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” an on-duty police officer.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Pat Gallivan, George Maziarz, Michael Ranzenhofe and Joe Griffo, seeks “to establish the crime of aggravated harassment of a police officer or peace officer.”

“Police officers who risk their lives every day in our cities and on our highways deserve every possible protection,” Mr. Griffo told WIVB 4. “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.”

A press release from the New York State 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, WIVB 4 notes that as the bill is written, a person would be guilty of aggravated harassment if he or she contacted the officer physically with the intent to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm.”

The legislation is now on its way to the State Assembly. If it becomes law, anyone found guilty could face up to four years in prison, WIVB 4 reports.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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