ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico lawmaker says cops who are victims of crime, get treated like second class citizens. Now, he’s looking to give them more say in what happens to the offender during the legal process.
“We need to involve them in all the processes and give them the same rights,” Republican Rep. Bill Rehm said.
Rehm, a retired polcie officer, said there’s a negative stigma that comes with being a cop.
“That it’s just part of the job, that you get beat up and that you get spit on,” he said. “That’s not the case.”
This upcoming legislative session he plans introduce a bill that will add certain crimes against officers to the “Victims of Crime Act.” The act gives victims and the families the same rights as offenders in the legal process that follows the crime.
“I’ve been contacted by some police officers and police organizations,” Rehm said. “Officers are not involved in the plea bargains or cases that are dismissed or plead down. Usually they have no input or knowledge that the deal had been made.”
Ultimately, that “imput” is what Rep. Rehm wants for officers.
Under his bill, the offenses that will be added to the Victims of Crime Act would be, battery and aggravated assault on a peace officer. Read the proposed bill >>
“So the DA’s office and the judges would have to advise and make sure that police officer is aware of what the preceding is, how the proceeding is occurring,” Rehm said.