Cutler Legislation Would Increase Penalties for Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer
5/24/2012
HARRISBURG – The House Judiciary Committee has approved legislation authored by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) that would make impersonating a police officer a third-degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 and a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

“Impersonating a law enforcement officer is a very serious crime that deserves considerable punishment,” said Cutler. “Law enforcement officers are some of the most trusted members of our society. When our children are in trouble, we teach them to look for police officers for help. Anyone impersonating law enforcement is attempting to violate this societal trust and usurp the authority of the law. This is a crime that should be severely punished.”

In addition to increasing the grading and penalty for impersonating a law enforcement officer, House Bill 2189 also would require anyone selling an emergency vehicle equipped with flashing lights or audible warning systems to remove these items from the vehicle prior to selling it to an unauthorized person. Failure to comply with this provision would be graded a summary offense, punishable by a fine of $500 - $1,000, unless the seller knows the purchaser intends to use the vehicle to impersonate a law enforcement officer. In such cases, the crime would be graded a third-degree misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

The term “law enforcement officer” includes any municipal police officer, state trooper, parole agent, drug enforcement agent of the Office of Attorney General, member of a port authority police department, sheriff or deputy sheriff, wildlife conservation officer, waterways conservation officer, member of the Capitol Police, and corrections officer employed at a state or county correctional facility.

Under current law, impersonating a law enforcement officer is graded as a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Additionally, anyone who equips a vehicle with an audible warning system is committing a summary offense, and could be subject to a fine of between $500 to $1,000.

House Bill 2189 will now go before the full House for debate and consideration.

More information about Cutler and his legislative priorities is available at RepCutler.com or Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler.

State Representative Bryan Cutler
100th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nicole Wamsley
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
717.783.8063
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