- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed two bills increasing protections for police officers.

Representatives on Thursday voted 120-35 in favor of a bill that would increase penalties for those who assault law enforcement officers. They also approved legislation with a 146-6 vote to create a “Blue Alert System” that would notify people when an officer has been shot or assaulted.

Both proposals now move to the Senate.

Proponents of increasing the penalties for assaulting officers said in a debate that it would send a message for the public that such offenses wouldn’t be tolerated. Opponents said that increasing penalties for assaulting officers wouldn’t prevent people from committing such crimes.

Gov. Eric Greitens has repeatedly endorsed establishing a Blue Alert System.

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