On Thursday, March 16, the Mississippi House of Representatives voted to concur on House Bill 645, known as the “Back the Badge Act.”

If signed into law, the act will double penalties for any crime committed against law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

Representative Alex Monsour (R-Vicksburg) who authored the bill said it’s important to show support for these people. 

“Especially after everything that has happened this last year, we want these men and women to know that we are going to protect them in the same way that they are protecting us,” Monsour said.

Representative Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) agreed that a strong message must be sent.

“It’s incredibly important that we get behind our law enforcement and first responders and show them that we support them,” Gipson said. “Last year, several law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. We just had an officer and two volunteer firefighters killed yesterday.  It is time this sort of thing is taken more seriously.”

The vote to concur passed by a vote of 94-18, and it will now be sent to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.