Thursday, January 20, 2011

KLEW / AP:  Legislation would include tougher penalties for targeting dispatchers (Jan 20 2011)

A tragic 2007 shooting spree in Moscow that left four dead is still reverberating in the 2011 Idaho Legislature.

Wednesday, Idaho State Police pushed a plan to expand a law that now allows for tougher penalties against people who assault police, firefighters and jailers. They want to include those who target emergency dispatchers.

More than three years ago, gunman Jason Hamilton finished a night of drinking at a Moscow bar by killing his wife and two others, including Moscow Police Officer Lee Newbill.

He wounded three more before holing up in a church and ending his own life. During the rampage, Hamilton fired 200 shots into the sheriff's office dispatch center.

No one inside was injured, but authorities told lawmakers in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee they should also allow punishment of 25 years or more for violent perpetrators who target dispatchers in the line of duty.

Is this a real problem?

Happen often?

With perps that don't kill themselves before you get a chance to arrest them?

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