The Ohio Senate today put its stamp of approval on Senate Bill 7, legislation designed to keep law enforcement officers safe by giving them access to additional information on potentially dangerous suspects. The bill is jointly sponsored by State Senators Bill Beagle and Chris Widener (R–Springfield).

“It is critical that we provide our law enforcement officers with every piece of information available to assist them in responding safely to incidents,” said Beagle. “This legislation will help ensure safer outcomes for Ohio’s first responders as well as the suspects and any bystanders involved in potentially dangerous situations.”

The bill would allow law enforcement officers to access information about individuals in the community who have been found not guilty of a violent crime by reason of insanity or who have been convicted of a violent crime and ordered to receive mental health treatment.

Named the “Deputy Suzanne Hopper Act,” the legislation honors Clark County Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper, who was shot and killed in the line of duty. Had Deputy Hopper been given access to court findings on the suspect’s mental health, the incident may have resulted in a different outcome.

The legislation now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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