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Missouri senators file violent crimes bills, special session continues

JEFFERSON CITY Mo. (KMIZ)

Tuesday marked the second day of Missouri's special session on violent crime in the state.

The State Senate pushed forward Senate Bill 1 and submitted two new bills on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 1, which modifies provisions relating to public safety, was filed Monday and was sent to the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee to be discussed Tuesday afternoon.

The St. Louis director of public safety, Jimmie Edwards says despite social movements, criminals have to be charged.

"The questions of defund the police, in my mind, while ambiguous and could mean a lot of things, it's just certainly the wrong way to go here," Edwards said.

The bill has several components. It would allow the St. Louis Police Department to expand its ability to recruit and hire officers outside of the city.

It would also allow for a child between the ages of 12 and 18 years old to be tried in court for gun-related offenses. It also modifies the offense of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree to include when a person knowingly encourages a minor to engage in conduct in violation of weapons offenses under the law.

The bill also pushes for more funding and support of witness protection program.

State Sen. Doug Libla, who sponsors the bill, said his proposal has support.

"We just got to get the people that commit these crimes, to be responsible for their crimes and, and that's what we need to," Libla said.

State Sen. Karla May filed Senate Bills 17 and 18, which surround violent crimes.

Senate Bill 17 is focused on juveniles' right to counsel. The bill summary says that if a child waives his or her right to counsel, the waiver must be made in open court and be recorded and in writing.

Senate Bill 18 would create the "Critical Incident Stress Management Program." The program would provide services for emergency service providers to help them cope with stress and potential psychological trauma after responding to emotionally difficult incidents.

It would also establish a fund to help pay for those stress management services.

The bill also would make some changes to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission.

The Commission establishes minimum standards for peace officer basic training and continuing education and re-licensing of peace officers whose licenses have expired.

Senate Bill 18 would add more training certification requirements, like de-escalation training and the use of body cameras. The bill would also ensure that basic training bans the use of certain moves like knee-holds, choke-holds, or similar acts, unless deadly force is necessary.

"Police reform and violent crime has to work hand in hand, if there's no trust in the community with the police, is going to be very difficult to solve crimes," State Sen. Brian Williams said.

The Senate is scheduled to convene at 4:00 p.m. Aug. 5. The House is adjourned until 10 a.m. on Aug. 7 for a technical session.

By law, the governor can convene the General Assembly in special session for a maximum of 60 days.

Crime / Jefferson City / Jefferson City Government / Missouri Politics / News / Politics / Top Stories / Your Voice Your Vote

Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto started working with ABC 17 News in June after graduating from California State University-Channel Islands with a degree in organizational communication. He reports weekday evenings and weekend mornings.

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