HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe offered praise for the recent enactment of legislation to increase the penalties for assaulting a Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) or Deputy WCO. The new law, which takes effect on Dec. 23, increases the maximum penalty for anyone convicted of assaulting a WCO or Deputy WCO to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 40 years in prison.
Under the new law, Act 150 of 2012, the penalty of assaulting a Wildlife Conservation Officer of the Game Commission will be the same penalty for assaulting any other law enforcement official, elected official, personnel of the court, teacher or psychiatric aid.
“The new law is of vital importance to the Game Commission,” Roe said. “It seeks fairness for the law enforcement officers who face dangerous situations in the fulfillment of their responsibilities, as demonstrated by the tragic death of WCO David Grove in 2010.This new law takes a giant step in the protection of Game Commission officers and does so in a way that is consistent with other similar law enforcement personnel.”
Act 150 was introduced as House Bill 1417 by state Rep. Edward Staback, who is the House Game and Fisheries Committee Democrat chairman. The bill passed the House unanimously, and was approved in the Senate by a vote of 45-4. Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill into law on Oct. 24.