A new law in Broome County protecting first responders from being hampered from doing their jobs at incident scenes is signed following protests and a final public hearing. 

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

The First Responders Protection Act of 2019 was signed by County Executive Jason Garnar January 3 following a public hearing the previous evening.  The measure levies fines and possible jail time for people intimidating or interfering with police, fire or medical crews.

The law had been proposed in the Broome County Legislature in November where dozens of protesters had gathered, many taking issue with the wording of the legislation that provided for charge against someone who “annoys” police or other agencies at an incident scene.  In December, an amendment to the wording of the act was approved and the County Executive scheduled the public hearing for January 2.

Legislative Chairman Daniel Reynolds issued a statement saying he was pleased to learn the Executive had signed the measure into law and hailed the passage and final adoption of the law as a bipartisan effort.