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Politics

State lawmakers debate police reform bill that limits "No-Knock" warrants

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Some state lawmakers are questioning whether a bill to put restrictions on so-called No-Knock warrants may be putting police officers at risk.

Police use no-knock warrants to surprise suspects. But critics complain some police departments are abusing them and putting innocent people at risk.

The central aspect of No-Knock warrents is that they allow police to storm into private property without warning. At a legislative hearing Thursday, Republican State Senator Curt VanderWall questioned whether the proposal to restrict them goes too far goes too far.

“We need to be careful that we don’t take the tools away from our law and give more tools for the bad guy or the bad girl," VanderWall said.

Democratic State Senator Erika Geiss says her bill would require police to consider other options before requesting a no-knock warrant. “They should have those tools," Geiss said.  "But at the same time, they should be used surgically, very very carefully".

The no-knock warrant bill is one of 12 bills that are part of a police reform package.