GREENWICH, Conn. -- State Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151) wants anyone who assaults an off-duty police officer to face tougher sanctions, and is among those fighting for a new law to impose such penalties.
“The intent of this bill is clear,” Camillo said. “It is for the benefit of not only off-duty police officers, but also our citizens who are the recipients of the selfless and brave actions of many of our finest law enforcement professionals.”
Inspiration from the proposal came in part from an incident in Greenwich, when an off-duty police officer who attempted to break up a bar fight suffered major injuries and was out of work for a year-and-a-half.
Ultimately, the individuals involved in the altercation were given a plea deal with community service and served no jail time.
Camillo noted there have been other such incidents.
“A few years back, we had a brutal attack on an off-duty police officer who came to the aid of someone who was being attacked in a restaurant,” he said. “It was later established the assailants knew that the man who was coming to the aid was a law enforcement professional. A camera in the municipal jail later confirmed the men took great pleasure knowing they inflicted serious harm on the off-duty police officer.”
Camillo is urging lawmakers to take action on the proposed law immediately.
“I think it is imperative that we afford them the same peace of mind and degree of protection off duty as they do when they are on duty and coming to the aid of their fellow citizens,” he said. “Without this, I fear there will come a day when off-duty police officers will not be willing to do what comes natural to them: protecting innocent citizens.”
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