Law Enforcement Officers Deserve Our Thanks, Respect & Protection

There is a disturbing and dangerous lack of respect toward police officers in New York. This has manifested itself in a number of ways, but of particular concern are the recent incidents where police officers are doused with buckets of water—and in some instances hitting them with the buckets as well.
It’s impossible to list all the reasons this is wrong, but among them is the risk that these occurrences of police harassment escalate to more dangerous assaults, or worse. The Assembly Minority Conference will not stand for this affront to law enforcement and is firmly committed to protecting the interests of the law enforcement community.
Our police officers and law enforcement professionals risk their lives daily to protect us. Every time we go to the grocery store, drop our kids off at school, or go to the movies, we do so knowing there are men and women willing to risk their safety so we can accomplish seemingly mundane tasks. It’s too easy to take for granted that society simply doesn’t work without these brave individuals. The Assembly Minority Conference is extremely thankful for all they do.
I’m extremely proud that Assembly Minority members have proposed a bill to make throwing or spraying water, or any other substance, at an on-duty officer a Class E felony. The charge, menacing a police officer in the second degree, would come with a 1-4 year prison sentence. We have also offered legislation to make obstructing the work of a police or peace officer – including shoving or kicking an officer – a felony. It is especially important to crack down on horrific acts such as these due to the risk of copycat incidences. We must take a stand now and make clear this is simply unacceptable. 
There are now 228 new State Troopers in New York. The newest class of officers graduated from the 208th session of the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy just a few days ago, and these incredible men and women endured enormous physical and mental stress in order to have a chance to protect and serve those in their communities.
As we reinforce our ranks of State Police we owe them, and officers across the state, more than lip service. We owe them a thank you, a debt of gratitude and a real commitment to have their backs, just like they have ours. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the work of the law enforcement community – from veterans to recent graduates and cadets – and commit to stand with those who allow society to run the way our democracy intended.
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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