Ed Thomas Act Proposed for Slain Iowa Coach

Mark Becker sits at the defense table shortly before being found guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of football coach Ed Thomas, Tuesday, March 2, 2010 in Allison, Iowa. It took the jury 24 hours over four days to reach its decision, finding Becker, 24, guilty in the June 24, 2009, killing of Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas. (AP Photo/John Gaps III, Pool) AP Photo/John Gaps III

A year after the murder of Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley has introduced legislation to help ensure the safety of families and communities.

The Iowa Democrat says the Ed Thomas Act he introduced Wednesday will clarify existing privacy requirements to allow law enforcement agencies and medical providers to communicate more effectively when patients pose an inherent risk to the community.

Thomas was fatally shot in June of last year by former student Mark Becker, who has been sentenced to life in prison for the crime.

Becker had an earlier run-in with police and was hospitalized in a mental health unit. He was released several days before the shooting, and police weren't notified.

Braley says Iowa recently passed legislation that gave the state's law enforcement officers assistance in preventing similar tragedies, while also protecting the rights of medical patients.

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