State Rep. J. Todd Smith introduces bill to protect police officers during National Police Week


COLUMBUS — State Representative J. Todd Smith (R-Farmersville) recently introduced House Bill 236, which would add police officers who are employed at hospitals to the definition of ‘Peace Officer’ under Ohio law.

The legislation was prompted by a constituent who is a Hospital Police Officer, and was assaulted by a patient at the hospital where he was employed. Because of the lack of definition in the Ohio Revised Code, the aggressor could not be charged with first degree felonious assault, as would be the case for other peace officers defined in the law.

“I count it an honor to serve every citizen of District 43. It is especially rewarding to serve those who serve,” Rep. Smith said. “H.B. 236 will allow fully commissioned officers who work for hospitals to know that the community supports them and has their back. It’s time to give full protection to these officers who serve our community so well.”

Coincidently, H.B. 236 was introduced the same week as National Police Week in America, which is May 12-May 18. H.B. 236 is expected to be assigned to a House Standing Committee later in the week. The bill already has received support from the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.