"Blue Lives Matter" bill becomes law

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News
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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - On Monday, the governor's "Blue Lives Matter" bill became law. First responders say, this kind of support couldn't be better timed.

"You know, whenever you have support from the top down that really makes the guys on the street feel good," West Monroe's Police Chief Jeff Terrell said.

This, after three Baton Rouge officers were targeted and killed in an ambush-style shooting. To them, this is a vote of confidence.

"It lets them know that they have somebody there that's backing them," Terrell said.

Now, anyone targeting law enforcement, or any other first responder, will be charged with a hate crime, something Sterlington's Chief thinks, will go a long way.

"It's our job to be out there for others, and look out for others," Sterlington Police Chief Barry Bonner said. "It's just a good feeling to know that there's someone over there looking after you."

But, some people don't support the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, even going so far to call it divisive.

Including Ernest Johnson, Louisiana's NAACP president, who says Louisiana's law enforcement is already protected, and penalties were already enhanced for crimes against police, even before this law went into effect

"Laws like this, to me, tend to divide because now you're going to separate," Johnson said. "Where you've got 'Black Lives Matter' and 'Blue Lives Matter' and you got this contest going on and it's just not helpful."

For those who feel like Johnson, the chiefs say they understand.

"I love the 'Blue Lives Matter' movement, i love the 'Black Lives Matter' movement," Bonner said. "I understand the reasoning for it and all that."

And will continue to help them, regardless.

"It doesn't matter who it is, what they are, we're there to help them," Terrell said. "And, we're going to, we're going to be there."