The Broome County legislature has passed a local law that could send someone who harasses an emergency worker to jail for a year.

The original proposal generated controversy because it included language that would have targeted people who "annoy" first responders. The measure was amended to focus on harassment as it is now defined under New York state law.

At last month's meeting of the legislature, a large group of protesters jammed the meeting room, delaying the start of the session. Several people were arrested before that meeting finally began.

Protesters were arrested before a meeting of the Broome County legislature on November 21, 2019. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The revised measure was passed by county lawmakers Thursday.

According to legislature chairman Daniel Reynolds, the law would allow charges to be brought against anyone who harasses a first responder. If convicted, a person could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined up to $5,000.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar is expected to schedule a public hearing on the proposed law. He has not said whether he is inclined to sign the measure.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph:

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