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James Brown / WXXI

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has signed a controversial measure that would punish people who annoy cops and first responders on the job.

A public hearing on the so-called "annoyance bill" was held Monday. It was the last step before the bill, which the Republican majority in the County Legislature passed last month in a party-line vote, went to Dinolfo’s desk.

Jeremy Moule / Rochester City Newspaper

Rev. Lewis Stewart, faith leaders and criminal justice advocates are asking Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo not to sign a controversial law. 

The measure, passed this month, makes it illegal to annoy, alarm or threaten the personal safety of first responders and various forms of law enforcement. Those who do, would face a hefty fine and possibly jail time. It passed in a party-line vote earlier this month. The bill’s co-author, County Legislator Karla Boyce, said she was inspired to introduce the bill by recent instances of first responders put in danger.

James Brown / WXXI

The Monroe County Legislature has passed a law that makes harassing or annoying police officers against the law and adds protections for first responders and peace officers. And the penalties are stiff. 

It was approved last week in a 17-10 vote. The measure, written by Republican Legislator Karla Boyce, could mean thousands of dollars in fines or even jail time for anyone who “intends to annoy, alarm or threaten the personal safety of the police officer, peace officer or first responder.”