Governor Ceremonially Signed Bills Supporting Law Enforcement

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On Monday Governor Steve Beshear had a ceremonially signing of four bills that support law enforcement in the Commonwealth.

"They share with me a real commitment to the safety of our people, all across this state.  Protecting our citizens is one of our most basic responsibilities as a government,” said Beshear.

House Bill 364 allows retired police officers who are re-employed by a county sheriff’s office to continue to receive retirement and health insurance benefits through the Kentucky Retirement System.

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In the past the new law enforcement agency would be responsible for paying around 35 percent of the employee’s retirement.

“What it would do was keep me from hiring old officers because I had to pay a ransom," said Charlie Williams, Hardin County Sheriff.

The officer would not be eligible to accrue additional retirement or health benefits through the sheriff’s office, and the employer will not be responsible for the payment of health insurance benefits.

House Bill 179 granted law enforcement flexibility when disposing of used service firearms, by allowing the officer who was issued the firearm the chance to buy it upon retirement.

This bill was written so law enforcement agencies can auction off the guns to make money for their departments.

"Some of them are nostalgic about the fact they have carried this weapon for 20 years,” said Williams.  “And now they have the legal ability to sell it to them, beforehand we didn’t have."

House Bill 281 reduced the price of an initial Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police specialty license plate, and increased the amount donated per plate to the Kentucky State FOP Death Fund, from $5 to $10.

Senate Bill 192 was written soa special law enforcement officers who are employed by school districts to receive equipment from the Kentucky Law Enforcement Protection Program, administered by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.

The law made it possible for these officers to access critical equipment such as body armor and electronic-control devices.

All bills were signed between April 7 and April 11, 2014.