HARRISBURG, Pa (WTAJ) – House Bill 940, or Titan’s Law was signed by Governor Wolf on Monday, July 11.
Act 60 of 2022 (formerly House Bill 940) expands the penalty when a police animal is injured while investigating a felony. The nickname for the bill, Titan’s Law, comes from the Johnstown K-9 Titan who fell to his death while he and his handler were taking part in a burglary investigation.
PA State Representative Jim Rigby has been pushing for the bill and released a statement following Wolf signing the bill.
“I’m pleased to report Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law my legislation that extends penalties to impact criminals in situations when loss of life for animals involved in law enforcement occurs. Act 60 of 2022 (formerly House Bill 940) expands the penalty when a police animal dies while investigating a felony. Prior to this, the death was only punishable when perpetrators intentionally or knowingly killed or injured the animal,” Rigby said.
Titan’s Law would make an act that kills or injures a police animal a third-degree felony if the incident occurs while the actor is committing a separate felony. A felony of the third degree has a maximum possible sentence of up to seven years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.
“We are pleased that Titan’s Law is now the law in Pennsylvania. While this process started with a tragedy, Titan did not die in vain. Moving this legislation from idea to reality was a true collaboration between the District Attorney’s Office, Representative Rigby, and Senator Langerholc. Representative Rigby and Senator Langerholc deserve our thanks and praise for ushering this law through the legislative branch – their skill in doing so was readily apparent. Our K9 Officers, who protect and serve day in and day out, now have additional protections that are indicative of the vital role that they have in our community,” said Gregory J. Neugebauer, District Attorney of Cambria County.
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While Titan was a K-9 office with the Johnstown Police Department, he partnered with Officer Brian Stevens for six years. He logged hundreds of apprehensions, narcotics detections and K-9 demonstrations.
Titan was escorted by police during a final send-off on Nov. 23, 2021, leaving behind a legacy of courage and selflessness that will never be forgotten.