The County Executive, Cheryl Dinolfo, plans to sign a law criminalizing the “annoyance” or harassment of police and emergency responders according to county officials.
The law was passed by the County Legislature, and is supported by law enforcement.
The bill defines harassment broadly — including everything from annoying a first responder, to assaulting one, and will codify the anti-harassment statute. Punishments include jail time and/or an up to $5,000 fine
Those who voted for the measure claim it is their hope that this local law will foster an environment in Monroe County that respects police officers and first responders while they are working.
Democrats say they believe the bill will be challenged in court.
Although the bill passed in the Legislature, it did not do so with unanimous support. County Legislator Rachel Barnhart (D-21) has publicly requested that current county executive Cheryl Dinolfo not sign the bill into law.
Additionally, the United Christian Leadership Ministry and Community Justice Advocates held a recent press conference to speak out against the Monroe County Legislature’s bill on harassing police and first responders, saying that it could be abused due to the bill’s loose language and is unnecessary.