Police widows' testimony helps propel SB1501 through committee

Published: Jan. 30, 2019 at 5:44 PM EST
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The widows of three Virginia state troopers provided moving testimony Wednesday morning as the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation supporters hope will reduce the number of police officers who are targeted in the line of duty.

The committee voted unanimously to report Senate Bill 1501, introduced by Senator Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County). The legislation applies to cases in which a defendant is charged with capital murder of a law enforcement officer or fire marshal, and would prevent the capital charge from being reduced.

Michelle Dermyer is the widow of state trooper Chad Dermyer who was shot and killed in March 2016 at the Greyhound bus station in Richmond. She spoke in favor of the legislation.

“Where is the public outcry when law enforcement officers are shot? Where are the people coming to their defense? Enough is enough,” Dermyer told the members of the committee.

“People will say they signed up for this job. They did not sign up for this job to have a target on their back,” she said.

The committee voted unanimously to report the bill. It now heads to the full Senate.