ALBANY, NY (WENY) - The New York State Senate has passed a bill to strengthen protections for K-9 officers.
"Mitchell's Law" would make it a felony to injure a K-9 officer in the line of duty.
It's named in honor of Officer Mitchell, a six-year-old German shepherd who's been with the Jamestown Police Department since 2011. He received life threatening injuries during a confrontation with a suspected murdered following a six-hour standoff with police in November 2016.
"K-9 officers across the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions, and throughout New York State, deserve this recognition and protection," says state Senator Tom O'Mara. "These officers perform incredible service in assisting our law enforcement agencies catch criminals, locate missing persons, and search for drugs and explosives. These amazing police work dogs, as well as police work horses, have earned and deserve this action to protect their safety.”
The legislation has received widespread support from law enforcement and animal advocacy groups.
The bill now heads to the Assembly.