Hwang & Kupchick support bill to protect law enforcement canines

Sen. Tony Hwang on April 2 voted in favor of measure, SB 241, that he introduced to better protect law enforcement canines in the line of duty. The bill was passed overwhelmingly by the legislature’s Judiciary Committee and now awaits a vote in the State Senate.

“Intentionally injuring or killing a law enforcement dog in the line of duty is unacceptable, especially given the invaluable role and contributions toward public safety and their essential partnership with human police officers,” Sen. Hwang said. “This legislation sends a message that such dangerous and fatal attacks on police and search and rescue canines will not be tolerated in Connecticut and will be punished to the highest level under law.”

The substitute language legislation, which Sen. Hwang has co-introduced for the past few years with CT Legislators Animal Welfare Caucus members such as Representatives Brenda Kupchick and Fred Camillo.   

Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) said, “We must remember that law enforcement and search and rescue dogs put their lives on the line every day for state residents, just like our law enforcement officers and rescue personnel do. These animals are engaged in serious and often dangerous operations from the apprehension of criminal suspects, detection of illegal drugs and bombs, or that can result in injuries or death.  This bill sends a strong message to anyone who commits attacks on our beloved police canines that they’ll face harsh criminal penalties. Let’s protect man’s best friend and our canine law enforcement crime fighters.”

Currently, the federal Enforcement Animal Protection Act punishes those who assault, maim or kill a federal law enforcement animal with a minimum $1,000 fine or potentially 10 years imprisonment.

SB 241 would increase the penalty for intentionally injuring or killing a police or search-and-rescue animal from a Class D felony to a Class C felony. Those convictions could have a mandatory one year up to a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132), Fairfield Police Officer Kevin Wells with K9 Officer Jagger, Sen. Tony Hwang, and Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara.

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132), Fairfield Police Officer Kevin Wells with K9 Officer Jagger, Sen. Tony Hwang, and Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara.

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