State senator Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff) will pre-file legislation on December 1 that aims to boost penalties against those who are convicted of attacking first responders, including law enforcement officers. His measure involves those found guilty of first and second degree homicide, first and second degree voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and first, second and third degree assault. He’s deciding what the increase in penalties would be.
“I’m very dismayed with what’s happening with the total lack of regard and disrespect. Not everybody. I still think the big majority of citizens in this country and this state appreciate the work that our law enforcement officers do each and every day. But there is a small percent that don’t,” says Libla. “It’s been done way too much. It’s a trend that’s sweeping across our country. There’s police officers being executed while sitting in their cars, while eating lunch, while eating dinner, for the reason of just the fact that they’re police officers.”
Under current law, Missouri statute outlines the penalties for crimes, and allows for enhanced penalties on special victims, which includes first responders.
“If I’m successful at getting it through the Senate, successful at getting it through the House, successful at getting the governor’s signature on it, it’s going to send a message to people when you are in the state of Missouri and you assault one of our police officers, it’s going to be a very serious crime,” says Libla.
Libla is the Chairman of Senate Transportation, Infrastructure, and Public Safety Committee. He serves the counties of Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Shannon and Stoddard.
Libla won re-election to a second term in the general election, beating former southeast Missouri Congressman Bill Burlison.