First responders are important. Many are good citizens, hard workers and often put their lives on the line. But covering them under hate crimes legislation is not appropriate. This group does not fit in the protected classes as defined by the Department of Justice. We already have laws that determine stricter penalties for crimes against police.
If we are to start covering professions under hate crime laws, let’s be fair. We must include other professions as well. We must include all social workers and family service workers, the people who work under the Cabinet for Families and Children. These workers put their lives on the line with no special protections, with low pay and few benefits, yet walk into situations every day where children are being abused and neglected, in the midst of domestic violence and in the midst of drug and alcohol addiction.
Legislators claim they want to protect life, yet they are not protecting life once born or the people on the front lines who have the key responsibilities to safeguard those lives. So, let’s include social workers, family service workers, domestic violence workers and those who work with people living with mental illnesses and addictions in this legislation.