Crimes against first responders could be a hate crime in Pennsylvania

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LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.- Committing a crime against a first responder could become a hate crime in Pennsylvania. Republican Representative David Zimmerman has introduced the bill.

"If it's clearly proven that it's a hate crime and there's these added penalties then surely people are watching what is going on and I believe it would actually help have individuals think twice before they commit crime against our law enforcement," said Zimmerman.

"My reaction to that is we appreciate Representative Zimmerman's efforts, on our behalf, anything that can bring attention to what is going on right now with the dangers  police officers are facing nationwide is great. However, having said that, I don't think he statute will make much difference to use out out on the street,"  said Chief Donald Bowers, New Holland Police.

State Laws already increase penalties for crimes against police.

Representatives will be back in session January 23.