(STATEHOUSE) Jan. 24, 2008 - Rep. Greg Steuerwald's (R-Hendricks County) bill toughening penalties against child molesters (House Bill 1141) was amended into House Bill 1134 and passed out the House Judiciary Committee this week. His amendment classifies child molesting as a Class B felony if a person uses force or threatens to use force on a child.
"This is a step in the right direction to providing further protection to children," said Rep. Steuerwald. "We must bring offenders to justice with the harshest punishment the law will allow."
In addition, Rep. Steuerwald's bill concerning town police officer residency was amended into House Bill 1114. The language makes the residency requirements for members of town metropolitan police departments the same as the residency requirements for city police departments, town marshal systems as well as city, town and township fire departments. The bill also adds that a member appointed to a town metropolitan police department may reside within the county in which the town is located or a contiguous county. In addition, it allows the town to limit use of patrol automobiles to within the town by ordinance.
"This bill will give more flexibility to town police departments," said Rep. Steuerwald. "Currently, there are limitations based upon where the officer resides, which has nothing to do with professional qualifications. Removing these limitations will allow towns to hire the most qualified individuals."
House Bill 1114 passed out of the Local Government Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 23. House Bills 1134 and 1114 are now available for second reading amendments and could be heard by the full house on Tuesday, Jan. 29, which is the deadline for second readings.