The New York State Senate is moving forward legislation to classify certain crimes against first responders like law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services as hate crimes.

Senator Fred Akshar of Colesville sponsored the Community Heroes Protection Act. The measure moves on to the Assembly.

Currently police officers and other first responders are not included as victims in the definition of a hate crime.

If the plan makes it to the Governor’s desk, it could mean stiffer penalties for people who target men and women in uniform.

The passage of the legislation comes during the state observance of Police Memorial Week.