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Senator Collins Joins Bipartisan Effort to Protect Law Enforcement Officers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and a group of bipartisan Senators in introducing the Protect and Serve Act. This legislation would make knowingly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to a law enforcement officer a federal crime.

“In Maine, we are fortunate to have so many terrific and professional law enforcement officers, devoted to their duty and to doing what is right,” said Senator Collins. “This legislation would help increase protections for those who serve in state, local, and federal law enforcement by holding anyone who knowingly targets or attacks these dedicated officers fully accountable for their criminal actions.”

The National Fraternal Order of Police reports as of December 31, 2023, there were 378 officers shot in the line of duty in 2023. Of those officers shot, 46 of them were killed by gunfire. There were 115 ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers last year. These ambush-style attacks resulted in 138 officers shot, 20 of whom were killed by gunfire.

The Protect and Serve Act would address this problem by giving federal prosecutors the tools they need to hold accountable those who target law enforcement for assault and attacks. The Protect and Serve Act would support law enforcement officers by:

  1. Making it a federal crime to knowingly cause, or attempt to cause, bodily injury to a law enforcement officer. Offenders are subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years.
  2. An offender could receive a life sentence if a death results from the offense, or the offense includes kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, or attempted murder.

This law would apply to federal law enforcement officers and would also apply to state and local officers in circumstances where the federal government can establish jurisdiction over the case.

The Protect and Serve Act has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Sergeant Benevolent Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, National Narcotic Officers' Associations' Coalition, and National Association of Police Organization.

Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) are also cosponsoring this bill.

Full text of the bill is available here.