A new bill offered in the Indiana legislature would levy harsher penalties for crimes against public safety officials. It also strengthens penalties for crimes against their relatives.
According to the bill, public safety officials include law enforcement officers, firefighters and judicial officers, among others.
The bill defines their relatives as “an individual related by blood, half-blood, adoption, marriage, or remarriage.”
West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski calls an attack on a police officer an attack on society.
Dombkowski says it’s not common for relatives to be threatened, but it has happened.
“There’s been threats made by name against police officers, on social websites and even as far as threatening their family members,” Dombkowski says.
Dombkowski says even though such threats are rare, they’re taken seriously.