New York state residents might soon have a new worry when it comes to dealing with police officers.
The State Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that makes it a felony to annoy an on-duty police officer by subjecting them to any physical contact.
A press release from the Senate originally stated: "The bill (S.2402), sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo (R-C-I, Rome) would make it a felony to harass, annoy or threaten a police officer while on duty." An individual would be guilty of aggravated harassment of a police officer if he or she subjected that officer to physical contact with the intent to "harass, annoy, threaten or alarm" that officer.
Senators Pat Gallivan, George Maziarz, Michael Ranzenhofer as well as Griffo sponsored the bill, according to WIVB.
"Police officers who risk their lives every day in our cities and on our highways deserve every possible protection, and those who treat them with disrespect, harass them and create situations that can lead to injuries deserve to pay a price for their actions," Griffo said.
The bill is now on its way to the State Assembly. If it goes on the books, anyone found guilty of violating the new law would face up to four years in prison.
The language of the bill states: "A person is guilty of aggravated harassment of a police officer or peace officer when, with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm a person whom he or she knows or reasonably should know to be a police officer or peace officer engaged in the course of performing his or her official duties, he or she strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects such person to physical contact."