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SIGNAL 13 --The Felony Assault bill on officers needs your help!!!

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  • SIGNAL 13 --The Felony Assault bill on officers needs your help!!!

    I got this on an LE List that I am on, many of you may have already seen it...

    Cheers,
    Piper
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Fellow Officers & Supporters

    An officer needs your assistance and that officer may be you. Here is an excellent opportunity to help yourself.

    The felony Assault Bill on Police Officers is being attached to another bill in an attempt to get it passed. There is political support for the bill and they need our help in getting it passed. If you support this bill, please take a moment and write one e-mail that will go to all 141 delegates. Please use your own words but here are a few key points that you might want to add

    1) 30 of 35 states that have a felony assault on police officer bill saw a decline in police officer assaults from 1992 to 1997.

    2) More than 40 states including all of the states that border Maryland currently have laws that make it a felony to assault a police officer in the line of duty. Maryland ranks 19th in population but ranks fourth in the nation in the number of assaults on law enforcement officers with 3,154 in 2000. Only Florida, California and Texas have more.

    3) FBI statistic show that nationally on average, 12.7 out of every 100 law enforcement officers were assaulted in the line of Duty. In Maryland 29.1 out of every 100 officers were assaulted.

    4) Last year the a bill was passed in Maryland that made it a felony to assault a police dog.

    (This information was obtained press release by Janet Greenip on March 20, 2002.)

    Below is information

    1) regarding to where to send you e-mial
    2) A sample letter sent By Bret Ballam (President of the Sergeants Association)

    3) An article from the sun paper regarding the bill


    I received a call from Delegate Greenip's office late this afternoon. It appears that Monday the bill she will attach Felony Assault will be heard. Please spend some time writing an email using the [email protected] broadcast email address. One email goes to all 141 of the Delegates. Be sure to tell them you are a police officer in MD. Ask your family members, friends and co-workers to write an email also.

    We have until Monday to send emails. By the way your emails are causing a stir. Over 20 emails (this is a lot for any issue) have arrived to each Delegate so far. People that have been unaware of this issue because it was locked away in the Judiciary Committee are now aware. The Delegate Greenip's office has been busy answering questions from Aides as well as Delegates on HB-1414. It looks like it will be attached to a cruelty to a Senior Adults bill on Monday. All of our emails will need to be in by early Monday morning to have any impact. Ask your friends, family and co-workers to write in support. They should let the Delegates know who they are and where(locality) they live in so that the Delegates know they are from Maryland. Keep up the pressure. Good work so far



    Sample letter from Bret Ballam



    Dear Delegate,
    As I have for the past four years I am pleading with you to support the felony assault on a police officer provisions introduced by Delegate Janet Greenup. Last year the very same delegates that sponsored and supported a bill that was signed into law by our governor, that made the assault on an animal in Maryland a felony, have voted against this piece of legislation. I appeal to each of you to exercise trust in your public safety officials and support this bill. As each of you are aware, the individual officer placing a charge is reviewed by a District Court Commissioner, a felony screening unit from the States Attorneys Office and a Judge before an individual would ever be convicted of this offense. Fail safes are in place to assure that this law would not be used as a "catch all" or at the whim of any officer that is pushed or bumped in the normal course of an arrest situation. I am confident that this legislation will reduce the number of assaults on police officers, and stem what police officers call the continuum of violence. That is to say that officers would not be required to meet force with a greater degree of force to affect an arrest. I would ask that each of you consider, not the individual police officer, but the issue of the enormous number of assaults against the profession in Maryland, and stand up to the plate and support our efforts to reduce this number. With all respect, Bret Ballam, President, International Union of Police Local #123.

    Article In Sun Paper regard bill

    Advocates continue push for assault-on-officer felony
    Delegate hopes to reintroduce bill By Laura Barnhardt
    Sun Staff
    Originally published March 28, 2002

    Anne Arundel County law enforcement groups are staging a last-minute campaign to win passage of change in the state criminal code that would make assaulting an officer a felony in Maryland, calling legislators and sending e-mails on behalf of a measure that has failed in past years. County Sheriff George F. Johnson IV and police officers, including officials from the county sergeants association, have long lobbied representatives for a felony assault bill. The proposal has been voted down in committee four years in a row, including this week. That hasn't stopped the officers or - apparently- one of the bill's sponsors, Del. Janet Greenip, a Crofton Republican, who plans to reintroduce the measure today as an amendment to a crime bill. "I think it's that important," said Greenip, who is among the officials angered that Maryland law makes it an automatic felony to deliberately harm a police dog, but not a police officer. "When dogs are treated better in this state than humans, it just doesn't make sense," she said yesterday. "It's not right. Our police officers deserve better." The proposed change would affect law enforcement officers across Maryland, where 3,630 officers were assaulted in 2000, a slight drop from the five-year annual average of 3,750, according to the state's uniform crime report. Although statewide groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police and the Maryland Coalition of Police and Deputy Sheriffs also are lobbying for the change, much of the pressure is coming from Anne Arundel County. Being close to the capital, the county officers are conveniently located to testify and lobby on behalf of officers around the state, Johnson said. And the county's sergeants association has made the felony assault proposal a priority, championing the bill each year. "It's a battle every year," said Sgt. Bret Ballam, president of the Anne Arundel County Sergeant's Association and a longtime advocate of the felony assault bill. He has met repeatedly with politicians about the issue. "We're just asking that you give us the same legal protection that you give any stray animal walking down the street," county Sgt. Bryan Heger testified before the House Judiciary Committee, which voted 11-7 Monday against the bill, even stripped of a mandatory one-year sentence. At a hearing last week, several legislators questioned why officers were asking for a felony classification when state law defines serious assaults on any person as a felony. Law enforcement officials noted that more than half of the states, including those surrounding Maryland, have laws that categorize any assault on an officer - regardless of the severity - as a felony. "I just can't understand why Maryland [lawmakers] can't embrace it," Johnson said yesterday. Johnson, also the legislative chairman for the state's association of sheriffs, said, "I think we have to send a message that if someone assaults an officer, they'll face the harshest of penalties." Greenip said she's not sure which bill she'll propose to amend with the provision that assaulting an officer be categorized as a felony, but she said she plans to introduce the measure in session today. Meanwhile, officers are seeking lawmakers' support.

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