AUGUSTA - The Maine Senate, on Thursday, voted unanimously to give initial approval to a bill by Sen. Bill Diamond (D-Windham) that removes a prohibition on fundraising by police officers.
The bill, LD 588, “An Act to Allow Law Enforcement Agencies and Associations to Engage Directly in Fund-raising under Certain Circumstances,” allows uniformed police officers to raise money to help their colleagues and community members or their families, who are facing financial adversity.
For example, police officers would be allowed to coordinate fundraisers to help cover hospital bills.
“Police officers and others in the profession of law enforcement care deeply about their communities, but are barred from helping their neighbors in their moment of need,” said Sen. Diamond. “This bill will not only lead to more help for people who need it, but will foster more trust and better relationships between officers and the citizens they serve.”
LD 588 was amended in committee to preclude officers from direct solicitation, stemming from a concern that citizens could feel intimidated or pressured into donating to a cause that was championed by law enforcement.
“So many of our brave officers have expressed frustration over their inability to assist their colleagues and their families when times get tough; I look forward to seeing this bill become law so that we can put that chapter behind us,” said Sen. Diamond.
LD 588 now goes to the House of Representatives for an initial vote.