Bill introduced by senators on anniversary of Scranton police officer’s death

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A bill was introduced Monday commemorating the sixth anniversary of a Scranton police officer’s death.

Senate Bill 814, also known as Officer John Wilding’s Law, was introduced by state senators John Yudichak and Marty Flynn.

Officer Wilding was a member of the Scranton Police Department who died in the line of duty during a pursuit on July 12, 2015.

“On the night of my son’s death, he was running to back up his fellow officers, and this bill is his opportunity to do that one last time,” said Mary Wilding, mother of Officer Wilding. “I don’t want another mother to feel the same way I have felt since that day.”

Existing statutes currently prohibit fleeing from an officer in a vehicle and struggling with an officer attempting to place an individual under arrest, however, the statute does not mention fleeing an officer on foot and placing the officers or bystanders at risk of injury.

Senate Bill 814 will create a new offense of “evading arrest or detention by foot”. The senators say it is modeled after a similar statute in Texas.

“Officer Wilding was a rising star in the Scranton Police Department who was tragically killed six years ago today,” Senator Yudichak said. “John Wilding is a hero who gave his life in service to others, and in his memory, Senator Flynn and I introduced legislation to help ensure no other member of our law enforcement family has to endure what Officer Wilding’s family has gone through over the past six years.”

In the last legislative session, the bill passed by the senate and has bipartisan support.

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