Press Release: Senator Kagan’s “Freedom to Serve” Act to be Heard in Judicial Proceedings Committee Thursday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2018     
Senator Cheryl C. Kagan
District 17 (Rockville & Gaithersburg)

Senator Kagan’s “Freedom to Serve” Act to be Heard in 

Judicial Proceedings Committee Thursday
Allows more veterans to apply for law enforcement positions


(Annapolis, MD): Senator Cheryl C. Kagan (D-Gaithersburg & Rockville) has sponsored legislation to allow Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who have been honorably discharged from the military to apply to be police officers.

SB344 is co-sponsored by 41 of the 47 Senators and was suggested by Montgomery County Police Chief and President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association Tom Manger. It would help address a current recruitment crisis; enhance the racial and ethnic diversity of the applicant pool; and increase the number of culturally sensitive and bilingual police officers.

“Veterans who have served our country should be able to continue to serve and protect their communities,” said Senator Kagan.

In 2015, the Tennessee Legislature unanimously passed and enacted similar bipartisan legislation, sponsored by State Senator Steve Dickerson (R) and State Representative Jason Powell (D).

“Law enforcement officers who reflect the community they police are more effective at their jobs. This legislation will help to advance that goal,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA.

Delegate Carlo Sanchez (D-Prince George’s County), Chair of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus, and former Caucus chair Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-Anne Arundel & Prince George’s County) are sponsoring the companion legislation in the House.

The hearing on SB344 will be held on February 1, 2018 at 2 pm in the Judicial Proceedings committee.

About Senator Cheryl C. Kagan: Senator Kagan (D) represents District 17, Rockville and Gaithersburg, in the Maryland General Assembly. First elected in 1994 to the House of Delegates, Kagan served two terms before stepping down to work in the non-profit sector. In 2014, Kagan returned to elected office, winning her first term to the Maryland State Senate. Kagan serves on the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, Joint Audit Committee, and Joint Committee on Federal Relations and is the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on the Management of Public Funds.