House Bill 38, known as the Public Safety and Military Act, would protect first responders

Posted at 7:07 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 19:07:03-04

State Representative David Greenspan wants to protect those who protect and serve. Greenspan introduced House Bill 38 also known as the Public Safety and Military Act. It passed by a unanimous vote of 96 to 0 in the Ohio House of Representatives.

The bill would expand and strengthen the law that currently protects Ohio law enforcement to include all first responders. 

T.J. Martin has been a firefighter nearly 25 years. "In the advent of heroin, fentanyl, you don’t know how people are going to react to you. We're in a different age now," said the Parma firefighter. 

If the bill becomes law it would expand to protect to all local, state and federal first responders which would include FBI Agents and U.S. Marshals personnel. 

"We have hate crime bills for everything and they are justified. We need a hate crime bill for those who target law enforcement officers," said U.S. Marshal for Northern Ohio Pete Elliott. 

The bill also protects those who have retired as well as both active and retired military. The uptick of attacks on first responders is worrisome for Greenspan. 

"We had an attack last year on a Danville police officer. Then in December in Youngstown, three firefighters were coming back from a fire and were fired upon," said Greenspan. 

Kentucky and Louisiana already have similar laws. If passed it would be the strongest in the country. 

The bill is currently in the Ohio Senate.