Friday, 12 April 2019 15:00

Bill seeks to allow officers to display military patches

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AUGUSTA - Legislation that would allow veterans serving as police officers or first responders to wear the insignia of their military service is being considered by Maine lawmakers.

Sen. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, introduced the bill after members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Belfast told her they had seen similar bills pass in other states.

 

During a public hearing on Wednesday, a member of the Waldo County Sheriff's Office said that if a veteran is in a tense situation and sees that the officer is a fellow veteran, the situation may deescalate more quickly.

 

Herbig said it could also be a great recruitment tool.

 

"Right now we are having such a hard time in the state and across this country to attract recruits to become police officers or first responders. ... This would become such a welcoming signal to our veterans, that they are welcome in this field and we would love to have them, and I think it's a great fit coming at a critical time," Herbig said.

 

The bill will be taken up again during a committee work session sometime next week.