LaSata’s bill honoring fallen heroes heads to governor

LANSING, Mich. — A bill sponsored by state Sen. Kim LaSata that would allow the names of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, including court officers and corrections offers, to be added to the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument is headed to the governor for signature.

“It is important that we formally honor the lives of court officers who pay the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities,” said LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township. “I appreciate the strong support this bill has received from law enforcement and from members of our Southwest Michigan community. I am hopeful Gov. Whitmer will sign my bill so our fallen heroes can get the recognition they deserve.”

Senate Bill 321 would align the Michigan monument standard with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial standard. The bill would also allow reserve officers killed in the line of duty to be eligible for recognition on the memorial.

If signed into law, the names of Security Supervisor Joseph P. Zangaro and Court Officer Ronald Kienzle could be added to the state monument. In 2016, Zangaro and Kienzle were shot and killed by an inmate inside the Berrien County Courthouse. Zangaro had previously served as a Michigan State Police officer for 25 years and Kienzle was retired from the Benton Charter Township Police Department.

Zangaro’s and Kienzle’s names are already included on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Berrien County Undersheriff Chuck Heit and Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division of the Berrien County Trial Court Gary Bruce recently spoke in support of the bill at a hearing of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

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