The Indiana General Assembly is nearing its halfway point, and several proposals from the House of Representatives are now moving through the Senate. State Senator Jim Arnold of LaPorte has sponsored a variety of bills touching on a diverse range of issues, including legislation aiming to support law enforcement.
House Bill 1256 would impede cell phone trafficking in prisons by making the act a Class C felony, with fines up to $10,000 for individuals convicted of smuggling phones to inmates. Meanwhile, inmates found in possession of cellphones would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and could face fines up to $5000. The bill also enhances the charge for trafficking deadly weapons into a jail, making the act a felony rather than a misdemeanor. On top of that, Department of Corrections or prison employees who are convicted of trafficking cigarettes or tobacco products to inmates would face a Class A misdemeanor.
House Bill 1093 looks to protect law enforcement animals, providing criminals convicted of permanently disabling or killing a police dog with an $8000 fine to pay for K9 replacement costs. The same sentence would also apply to individuals who interfere and kill a police dog while it assists an officer.
Another bill would improve public safety training for officers, requiring them to receive training for dealing with individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. As of now, officers are only required to receive training for missing persons cases, but this bill would require that training for dealing with missing endangered adults would be provided by the Law Enforcement Academy as well. Further training would be incorporated into annual training updates.