BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hamburg Middle School students filed into the legislative chambers to advocate for police animals.
“We wanted to just help them out and try to actually help them pass the law,” said Kaylee Coch, Hamburg Middle School 7th grader.
A dog named Mitchell is a K-9 officer with the Jamestown Police department. He was stabbed while police were arresting an accused killer.
Mitchell’s law would make it a felony to injure a K-9 officer or other police animal like Mitchell. Right now it’s only a misdemeanor. Hamburg Middle School students think that’s not enough.
“I think it’s important because they help us everyday and we have to give back to them and they need the same rights that we have,” said Coch.
Students researched the bill and even went to Albany to witness Senate debate and discussion before approaching the Committee.
“I think it’s interesting especially because we don’t always learn about it so I think it’s good to learn,” said Delaney O’Brien, Hamburg Middle School 7th grader.
“They’re going to be the next generation of leaders for our country,” said Jason Steinagle, Hamburg Middle School Teacher.
Steinagle says his students felt inspired after several law enforcement and K-9 visits to their school.
“We absolutely did a lot of research on the internet about the role of police animals both horses and dogs,” said Steinagle.
The vote was successful and a resolution was passed.
“Very satisfied we’re very happy,” said Steinagle.
“I’m looking forward to seeing if they will pass this law eventually,” said Coch.
Mitchell’s Law is a step closer to being passed. It was passed in the Senate but now it needs to pass in the State Assembly before it can officially become law.