COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) - The death of a Clark County deputy inspired a new bill aimed at saving the lives of law enforcement.
State Senator Chris Widener's bill would warn officers ahead of time if a suspect they encounter is on conditional release.
Conditional release allows a person to go free after being declared incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity.
The bill is inspired by Deputy Suzanne Hopper. She was shot and killed by a man on conditional release at Enon Beach on New Year's Day 2011.
The court system was aware of Michael Ferryman's status, but the officers who confronted him that day were not. Ferryman was found not guilty by reason of insanity after a standoff in 2001 in Morgan County, Ohio.
"Our law enforcement officers place their lives at risk each day to protect our families and communities, and they should have access to any and all information that will help keep them safe as they go about their duties," Widener said. "This bill will give officers crucial background information on individuals they encounter. If we can prevent just one tragedy like the one that took the life of Deputy Hopper, we will have honored her life and her family's loss."
Senate Bill 7 will now be assigned to a Senate Committee for further consideration.
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