NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A week after an FBI dog was killed by a gunman in upstate New York, some state senators are hoping to make injuring or killing police animals a felony.
The FBI K-9, a 2-year-old Czech German Shepherd named Ape, was shot last week by 64-year-old Kurt Myers in an abandoned building in Herkimer before police returned fire.
Myers had killed four men and wounded two others during the shootings in Mohawk and Herkimer.
According to a memorial Facebook page set for Ape, officers attempted to save the dog’s life using CPR, but he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
No officers were injured in the shootout.
The crime of injuring or killing police animals is now classified as a misdemeanor. The bill (S.1079) would increase the penalties to a class D felony.
“The loss or injury of a police animal is not only a loss to the police or emergency services department but also the citizens of New York,” the bill states.
“Police animals serve and protect just like their human counterparts, and in many cases they are the first line of defense in a hostile situation,” State Sen. James Seward, one of the sponsors of the bill, said last week. “Ape gave his life to protect others and that kind of courage should be honored.”
The bill is now on third reading in the Senate.
There is also a companion bill in the Assembly, which is sponsored Rockland County Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski.
A memorial service was held for Ape on Monday. Ape had just completed his training and was on his second mission when he was killed.
Authorities said Ape’s body will be taken to Quantico, Va. where the FBI Academy is located. His name will also be added to a memorial wall.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)