The state Senate has passed several pieces of legislation that increase protections for the state’s law enforcement community, firefighters and other emergency service workers.

The legislation would increase penalties for assaults or threats to police, increase safety at correctional facilities and increase benefits for those who became sick from their service during the World Trade Center recovery.

The Community Heroes Protection Act, which was co-sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo, would make certain crimes explicitly committed against law enforcement, firefighters and first responders punishable as hate crimes.

"Unfortunately, we live in a time where our first responders have to keep looking over their shoulders for threats simply because of what they chose to do for a career or for volunteering to help their communities," Griffo said. "These brave men and women put their own lives on the line every day to protect our families and neighbors. We need to show our courageous first responders that we stand with them and that we thank them for selflessly serving and for keeping us safe."

The bills will be sent to the Assembly.