A new bill making its way to the governor's desk would increase penalties for crimes committed against law enforcement and first responders. MBP's Alexis Ware reports on the "Back the Badge" bill.
"There's no thin blue line. You either support good or you support evil."
That's Tunica County sheriff K.C. Hamp. He's the president of the Mississippi Sheriff's Association. A supporter of the Back the Badge bill, he's on board with criminals facing double the penalty if they commit a crime against police officers and other first responders.
Erik Fleming is ACLU of Mississippi Director of Policy. He says there's no need for this bill.
"We felt that it was necessary because we feel that police officers have protections already in state law and we didn't need to enhance it we felt there should've been more work towards reforming police making them more transparent."
Police reform- an issue on which both Flemming and Sheriff Hamp can find some common ground. Sheriff Hamp says he would like to see more training for police.
"Create a statewide task force somehow put together when it comes to officer-involved shootings that works under our attorney general's office or the Mississippi's U.S. Attorney's office comprised of experts or highly trained officials from our federal state and local law enforcement to help garner back the public's trust."
Governor Phil Bryant has indicated his support of the Bill. It would become a law in July.