Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
In August 2016, news reports surfaced that a police officer in Utah had been drugged after a Subway employee put methamphetamines and THC in his drink.
Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks County, has introduced a bill that would make placing drugs, bodily fluids or foreign objects into a police officer’s or first responder’s food a misdemeanor.
In a co-sponsorship letter for Farry’s bill, House Bill 1861, he specifically mentions the reported incident in Utah, saying this type of incident has also happened elsewhere.
“(At) myriad locations around the country, law enforcement officers have reported finding everything from drugs and glass to spit and pubic hair intentionally planted in their meals,” Farry wrote in a co-sponsorship letter. “Our first responders deserve to be confident in their safety when they order food and dine in a public place.”
The alleged incident in Utah, however, may not have actually happened.
While an officer in Utah did report the incident and a screen test of the drink came back positive for methamphetamines and THC, subsequent testing done by the police department was unable to confirm the presence of drugs, according the Washington Post.
The officer was also given two drug tests on the day of the incident and neither came back positive for the presence of any drugs, according the Washington Post.
The owner of the Subway has sued the police department, saying the allegations have ruined the business, the Washington Post reports.
According to Farry’s co-sponsorship letter, his bill is necessary because it is unclear if tampering with a police officer’s food would constitute assault under current law.
However, it is likely that doing so would already be considered a criminal act, if not deemed assault.