Legislation put forward by a former Livingston County Sheriff’s deputy has advanced out of committee.

State Rep. Mike Mueller of Linden testified last month before the House Judiciary Committee in support of the bipartisan plan to increase the penalty for criminals who disarm or attempt to disarm a police officer. Mueller retired late last year as a Livingston County deputy after winning election to the House and teamed up with Democratic Rep. David LaGrand, a former prosecutor from Grand Rapids, to introduce the bills.

Mueller says the legislation was inspired by the tragic death of Oak Park Police Officer Mason Samborski, a Howell native who was killed in 2008 by a suspect who took his firearm during a struggle.

The Judiciary Committee unanimously House Bills 4315-16, which would increase the maximum sentence for attempting to disarm a police officer from a five-year felony to a 10-year felony and up the penalty for disarming a police officer from a 10-year felony to a 20-year felony. They are now before the full House for consideration.

Rep. Mueller expects the plan to be taken up later this fall, after the completion of the state’s 2020 fiscal year budget. (JK)