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Sen. Boscola plans to introduce bill that would protect police, military privacy

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Sen. Lisa Boscola

HARRISBURG (WPMT)-A state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to intentionally distribute  the address, street or neighborhood of law enforcement and military personnel.

Sen. Lisa Boscola  (D-Northampton/Lehigh) announced Tuesday she is preparing legislation that would make it illegal to disclose where police or military personnel live.

Boscola said her legislation was spurred by the recent incidents involving acting state police commissioner Marcus Brown, who was targeted in his own neighborhood. The commissioner was secretly video-taped, subjected to critical signage near his children’s bus stop and received a racist note in his mailbox.

“Police and military personnel put their lives on the line for all of us every day,” Boscola said. “These officers, their spouses and children have every right to feel safe and secure in their own neighborhood and in their own home. My bill makes it clear that no one has the right to target an officer where they live.”

Boscola said it is important to also protect military residences in view of relentless threats from worldwide terrorist organizations such as ISIS. Last week, an ISIS-affiliated group published a “kill list” with the names and home addresses of American soldiers.

Under the bill, it would be a third degree misdemeanor to disseminate the address, give directions, or share photographs/video of an officer’s residence without a “legitimate purpose” or the officer’s consent. The prohibition would also apply to electronic and social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Boscola added that the state’s right to know law already exempts the disclosure of home addresses for law enforcement by a government agency. However, it is not illegal to intentionally distribute to any other person or the public at large the address, street or neighborhood of law enforcement personnel. She said her proposal would help protect police officers and military personnel from harassment and potential violence.

“The despicable attempts to harass and intimidate our state police commissioner, coupled with the ISIS “kill list” that included addresses of armed forces personnel reveal a glaring deficiency in our state law,” Boscola said.