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Source: US Geological Survey

Source: US State of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY — A coalition of organizations representing law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys expressed support for anti-crime legislation sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, which was passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. In a sign of support, the groups issued a letter calling on the governor to sign Senate Bill 600.

Senator Tony Luetkemeyer discusses Senate Bill 600 during a press conference held earlier in the 2020 legislative session.

The letter, jointly released by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Missouri Police Chiefs Association, Missouri Sheriffs Association and the St. Louis, Kansas City and Missouri Fraternal Orders of Police, praises Sen. Luetkemeyer’s legislation, which focuses on reducing violent crime. In the letter, the group says SB 600 is consistent with sentencing reforms passed in 2019 and should be supported by groups who claim prison should be reserved for violent offenders.

“Senate Bill 600 exclusively targets the very violent and career criminals that these criminal justice reform[ers] . . . have previously agreed needed to go to prison,” the letter reads. “Simply stated, Senate Bill 600 will protect Missourians from the most dangerous and violent criminals in our state.”

Aimed at combating the rise in violent crime in Missouri’s metropolitan areas, SB 600 increases penalties for armed criminal action, prohibits probation for persons convicted of second-degree murder or other violent offences and establishes the “Missouri Criminal Street Gangs Prevention Act,” which provides prosecutors with additional flexibility to charge persons involved in organized crime.

“Missouri has the regrettable distinction of being home to three of the most dangerous cities in America, and some of the highest homicide rates in the country,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “Many of these crimes are committed by a small number of repeat offenders. My legislation ends the catch-and-release practices and ensures the most dangerous criminals are behind bars.”

The measure passed 27-2 in the Senate and received a near 2:1 endorsement in the House of Representatives. The bill was sent to the governor’s desk where it awaits his signature.

For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/luetkemeyer.

MIL OSI USA News