MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The massacre that killed five police officers in Dallas last week has a New Jersey legislator looking to stiffen punishment for those who attack members of law enforcement.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Middletown) said if police officers are targeted simply because of what they do, it should be a hate crime.

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“This would bring what might be a simple assault to an aggravated assault charge,” Kyrillos said.

Kyrillos said the law would mean tougher penalties.

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He noted that there are already groups with special protection “based on race, on religion, on disability, on sexual orientation.”

Kyrillos wants police officers to know the state has their backs.

Currently, Louisiana is the only state where an attack on police is a hate crime. Similar proposals have been introduced in other states.

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