INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers have approved a bill that would force anyone convicted of killing or disabling a police dog to pay for replacing the animal.
Supporters say police departments face spending up to $12,000 to buy and train a dog and that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay to replace one lost during a criminal act.
The House voted 83-13 Monday in favor of the bill. Some legislators questioned provisions allowing police departments to seek money from the state's crime victims compensation fund if the convicted person can't pay for the dog's replacement.
Current law makes it a felony to kill or badly injure a police dog, but judges decide whether to order restitution.
The Senate approved the bill last month. It now goes to the governor for his consideration.
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