CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - In the wake of the events in Dallas and over the weekend in Baton Rouge, Texas Governor Greg Abbott introduced The Police Protection Act on Monday morning.
The bill is intended to help bring harsher punishment to those who intentionally commit crimes against law enforcement officials.
Within the last two weeks, a total of eight officers have been killed. Five were killed during the shootings in Dallas, and three were just shot and killed over the weekend in Baton Rouge.
Now a call for the greater protection for police officials has been pushed to the front line.
These tragic events have caused a slew of support and outreach across the country to law enforcement agencies.
Today, Abbott introduced his proposal for the new bill that extends hate crime protection to police officers. The act will also increase the criminal punishment for those who intend to cause harm to law enforcement from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony.
It's an act that State Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) said he will vote to approve.
"I have no doubt that the proposal that we've seen today will be met with broad bipartisan support across the great state," Ashby said.
Crocket Police Chief David Cross said that he who knows all too well how dangerous it can be for officers while they are on duty, and that he's in full support of this new move.
"Any time that we have support from our government officials and our governor and others that back our department, which we've seen and law enforcement that greatly helps us in doing our job and makes our officers feel safer," Cross said.
Just four months ago, Crockett police engaged in a high-speed vehicle pursuit which involved some of their officers being shot at.
"You know, with the pursuit that our officers got in here several months ago, they were fired upon by the suspects in the vehicle. A very dangerous situation. Our officers kept their cool and responded appropriately." Cross said.
Cross added that his department's close call and the latest shootings show how dangerous putting on a badge has become.
"You know we're out there risking our lives every day, putting our life on the line and if we have those extra protections that makes us feel a little better." Cross said.
In addition to the Police Protection Act, U.S. senators Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, and Thom Tillis have also rolled out The Back the Blue Act on the national level. It is a bill that would make it a federal crime to kill, attempt to kill, or conspire to kill a member of law enforcement.