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VanDenburgh successful in increasing penalties for killing a law enforcement animal

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For immediate release:
May 17, 2013


INDIANAPOLIS - The legislation (House Bill 1093) mentioned in the two news stories below was authored by Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh and was signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence on May 7:

       Gary Post-Tribune story: Bill toughens penalties for crimes against police K-9s

       WISH-TV Channel 8 story: K-9 bill introduced at Statehouse

VanDenburgh’s legislation forces courts to buckle down on those convicted of killing or permanently injuring a police dog by making them pay restitution when they are convicted.

The costs incurred by the loss of a police dog can be around $12,000. In most cases, local communities have had to raise the money on their own.

Thanks to Rep. VanDenburgh's legislation, the person found guilty of killing or permanently disabling a K-9 will have court-ordered restitution for the cost of replacing the dog. Meanwhile, to ensure immediate replacement, law enforcement may apply to the Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund to cover the replacement costs.

[Pictured at right are Crown Point officers Cpl. Eldridge with his dog, Buddy; Chief of Staff Keith Stevens; State Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh; and Ofc. Gligic with his dog, Radar.]

“The goal of this legislation is to relieve local police departments of the burden of having to raise so much money,” said VanDenburgh.

“K9 officers are a valuable tool to our local departments that must be replaced as soon as possible. This legislation ensures timely replacement,” she added.

[Pictured at left are Rep. VanDenburgh with Elwood PD's Capt. Jason Brizendine; Anderson PD's Lt. John Branson, Matt Jarrett, Gabe Bailey, Darren Granger and Marty Dulworth.]

To support House Bill 1093, the Crown Point officers spoke in favor of the bill during the House Courts & Criminal Code Committee while officers from the Anderson Police Department spoke in favor of the bill in the Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee.

The new law (Indiana Public Law 161-2013) takes effect July 1.

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