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Cruz, Tillis, Colleagues Lead Bipartisan Protect and Serve Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) led the introduction of the Protect and Serve Act, bipartisan legislation that would make knowingly causing, or attempting to cause, bodily injury to a law enforcement officer a federal crime.

Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said, “Our law enforcement officers risk their lives every single day to protect our communities. It is utterly reprehensible for anyone to attack our men and women in blue for enforcing law, order, and public safety. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this commonsense legislation to hold accountable violent criminals who attempt to harm our local, state, and federal law enforcement officers. These public servants deserve to be protected in the line of duty.”

Sens. Cruz and Tillis were joined by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) in introducing the legislation.

Read the full text of the bill here.


The National Fraternal Order of Police reports that as of December 31, 2023, there were 378 officers shot in the line of duty in 2023. Of those officers shot, 46 of them were killed by gunfire. There were 115 ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers last year. These ambush-style attacks resulted in 138 officers shot, 20 of whom were killed by gunfire.

The Protect and Serve Act would address this problem by giving federal prosecutors the tools they need to hold accountable those who target law enforcement for assault and attacks. The Protect and Serve Act would support law enforcement officers by:

  • Making it a federal crime to knowingly cause, or attempt to cause, bodily injury to a law enforcement officer. Offenders are subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years.
  • An offender could receive a life sentence if a death results from the offense, or the offense includes kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, or attempted murder.

The Protect and Serve Act has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Sergeant Benevolent Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, National Narcotic Officers' Associations' Coalition, and the National Association of Police Organization.

This law would apply to federal law enforcement officers and would also apply to state and local officers in circumstances where the federal government can establish jurisdiction over the case. Senator Tillis first introduced the Protect and Serve Act in 2020.