Archive for Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Give officers tools needed for job

May 23, 2007

This past Friday, I attended the Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial in Topeka to salute the men and women who lost their lives enforcing our laws and keeping Kansas families safe and secure. This memorial reminds us that we have a continuing duty to find new ways to prevent future violence against law enforcement officers.

It is my job, as the attorney general, to make sure law enforcement officers have the tools they need to do their job. And this is a constant battle as criminals use new tactics to violate the law. This legislative session, I'm pleased that several new laws passed to benefit law enforcement and the victims of crime across Kansas.

A new law I proposed increases supervision of registered offenders, allowing law enforcement to better protect Kansas kids. Now, offenders must register in person more often and provide more identifying information like e-mail addresses and online user names. This helps law enforcement better track these dangerous offenders both in our communities and on the Internet.

The Legislature also passed my bill to close a potentially dangerous loophole in Jessica's Law. Now, all second-time sex offenders will be treated as repeat offenders and face a mandatory 40-year sentence.

In addition, we successfully secured funding for safety programs across Kansas that are critical to law enforcement's fight on crime, like the South East Kansas Drug Taskforce. This award-winning group has identified and cracked down on drug manufacturers and dealers in southeast Kansas.

But we're just getting started.

During my time in office, I will be looking for common-sense ways to make our neighborhoods safer for both our families and law enforcement. We will find real ways to enhance our public safety infrastructure. Right now, we're working to create training programs to help cops better handle domestic violence situations and deal with the mentally ill more safely and effectively.

Law enforcement officers face many challenges as they fight to keep us safe. But we can do a better job providing them with the tools they need.

This past week, we remembered the heroes who by the virtue of their commitment to uphold the law and protect the citizens of Kansas, gave their lives in service to the people of this state.

by Paul Morrison

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