Rep Cook Votes to Increase Penalties for those who Murder First Responders
WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for HR 115, the Thin Blue Line Act. The bill passed the House overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.
This legislation adds the murder of a state or local police officer, a firefighter, or first responder as an aggravating factor for a jury to consider in deciding whether to impose the death penalty in federal capital cases. The murder of a federal law enforcement officer is already an aggravating factor under current law. The legislation sends a simple message that the stalking and killing of law enforcement officers must not and will not be tolerated.
Rep. Cook said, “It’s appropriate that this vital bill was passed during National Police Week when we recognize the sacrifices and heroism of our law enforcement officials that keep us safe. Every day, our first responders are risking their lives to protect our communities and when someone takes the life of a law enforcement officer or firefighter, they need to be appropriately punished. This bill will ensure justice is served.”
National Police Week began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. It is an opportunity for all Americans to express their appreciation for our law enforcement and honor those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
A member of the House Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Natural Resources Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.