Proposed "Rocco's Law" would help protect K-9 officers

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Feb 15, 2014 7:25 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is working to better protect police dogs in Pennsylvania.

It comes after a K-9 officer named "Rocco" was stabbed to death during an arrest last month in Pittsburgh.

Representative Jesse White, an Allegheny County Democrat, says the measure strengthens the penalties for injuring or killing a police dog.

"Anybody that would be willing to intentionally take the life of a police animal probably wouldn't hesitate to take the life of a uniformed officer," he says.

The bill -- dubbed "Rocco's Law" -- would make the intentional killing of a police animal a first degree felony. Gross negligence that results in the death of a police animal would be a felony of the second degree.

Supporters say it recognizes the value of four-legged officers in law enforcement.

Existing state law treats injuring or killing a K-9 officer no different than taunting one.

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