Fifty law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty so far this year, according to the National Association of Police Organizations. A new piece of legislation may help decrease this tragic number by strengthening the consequences against those who attack our police.
Rep. Vern Buchanan’s (R-FL) Thin Blue Line Act passed the House Thursday by a vote of 271-143. The bill would make the murder or attempted murder of a police officer, firefighter or other first responder an “aggravating” factor in death penalty determinations, Buchanan’s office explained in a press release Thursday.
“America’s police officers and first responders are the first ones on scene to help those in harm’s way,” Buchanan said. “These brave men and women and their families put it all on the line and deserve our unwavering support. Getting this bill signed into law will protect those who serve our communities and send a clear message: targeting or killing our first responders will not be tolerated.”
Buchanan’s bill just happens to have passed during National Police Week. The Trump administration recognized Police Week by offering remarks at the 36th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service Monday on Capitol Hill.
“Every drop of blood spilled from our heroes in blue is a wound inflicted upon the whole country,” the president said. “May today be the beginning of a new era of respect and appreciation for law enforcement.”
The Thin Blue Line Act now awaits the Senate.