Senate approves LaSata bill honoring local heroes

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would allow the names of law enforcement officers, including court officers and corrections offers who died in the line of duty, to be added to the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument.

With the change, Senate Bill 321, sponsored by Sen. Kim LaSata, would align the Michigan monument standard with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial standard. An amendment to the bill was also approved, allowing reserve officers killed in the line of duty to also be eligible for recognition on the memorial.

“This is an important reform that will ensure court officers who sacrifice their lives on the job will be properly honored by the state they served,” said LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township. “I thank my Senate colleagues for their support and am hopeful the House will take swift action on it as well.”

If signed into law, the bill would allow the names of Security Supervisor Joseph P. Zangaro and Court Officer Ronald Kienzle to 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.

SB 321 now advances to the state House of Representatives for consideration.