NYS bill seeks to make injuring a first responder due to fentanyl exposure a crime

State Sen. Rob Rolison is behind the bill (S7675) and held a news conference about it outside of the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department on Wednesday. 

Blaise Gomez

Oct 5, 2023, 8:13 PM

Updated 201 days ago

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A newly proposed law could soon make it a crime in some cases when a first responder is exposed to fentanyl. 
State Sen. Rob Rolison is behind the bill (S7675) and held a news conference about it outside of the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department on Wednesday. 
In September, authorities say a City of Poughkeepsie police officer suffered a near-fatal emergency when he was exposed to the deadly drug after it went airborne during a car search. 
Rolison says the law would make it a felony in some fentanyl cases when a first responder is exposed and injured under reckless circumstances. 
“We can’t prevent them from coming in contact with it, it’s just impossible,” Rolison says. “But people need to know that they’ll be held accountable if you injure one of our first responders.” 
Rolison, a former Town of Poughkeepsie police officer, says he drafted the bill after the incident last month in Dutchess County. The proposed law would carry a punishment of up to 15 years behind bars.  
It would apply in cases involving law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and correction officers. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists a first responder’s risk of airborne exposure as most likely to lead to harmful effects. 


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