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Rep. Jim Rigby (Pa.-71) talks about several bills that he has sponsored that look positive for passage at The State of the Commonwealth Address on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

A second Cambria County legislator has been named to a leadership position in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Blue Lives Matter Caucus.

State Rep. Jim Rigby, R-Ferndale, 71st Legislative District, was recently named the group’s Republican chairman. The caucus was formed in 2017 by state Rep. Frank Burns, D-East Taylor Township, 72nd Legislative District, the current Democratic chairman.

Rigby spent three decades working in law enforcement, including as Ferndale Borough’s police chief from July 2015 to December 2018.

“It’s a great caucus,” Rigby said. “I look forward to working with Frank and working on more legislation to protect our men in blue moving forward.”

Burns said Rigby will be a “real asset” and bring “credibility to what we’re trying to do.”

“There were a lot of people negative toward the police in the past couple years, so I wanted to bring to light some of the issues of protecting police officers while they’re doing their job,” Burns said.

Rigby has been active in legislation involving law enforcement, including recently introducing “Titan’s Law,” named in recognition of a Johnstown Police Department K9 officer that died from a fall down an elevator shaft when searching for robbery suspects in a warehouse.

“(The bill) allows us to bring charges against people if death or injury occurs to a police animal in a search during a felony or assisting the police in the search of a felony,” Rigby said.

“Titan’s Law” passed the House. The Senate is expected to soon take it up for consideration.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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