Protecting First Responders - S.B. 30
Today, the Utah House of Representatives passed S.B. 30 - Aggravated Murder Amendments, sponsored by Senator Karen Mayne.
Utah law currently makes targeting and killing certain first responders an aggravating offense. This provides an umbrella of protection to men and women who have taken on jobs that give them a duty to run into danger when others flee. However, many individuals who routinely act as first responders are left out of the current law.
S.B. 30 extends the existing protection in Utah law to cover correctional officers, special function officers, and other peace officers along with security guards, search and rescue personnel, emergency medical personnel, ambulance personnel, and any other emergency responder. Too often, these individuals are lured into deadly situations by those who seek to cause mayhem and to kill those who seek to protect.
In order to address concerns raised this session about whether Utah's Criminal Code needs to be updated to ensure that the state isn't charging individuals with too great a penalty for lesser crimes and to lenient a penalty for greater crimes, the bill also creates a task force with the duty to review the criminal code and make recommendations to the legislature prior to the 2019 General Session.
The bill previously passed the Utah Senate and now goes to the Governor for his signature.