Bill will help train law enforcement professionals to better respond to incidents involving mental health crises or trauma
This week marks National Police Week
Georgia Fraternal Order of Police and National Fraternal Order of Police among a dozen law enforcement organizations backing the bipartisan legislation
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is continuing his work to support law enforcement and improve public safety.
Today, alongside U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Ossoff introduced bipartisan legislation to help train law enforcement officials and first responders when handling incidents with individuals suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), also a member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, co-sponsored the bill.
The bipartisan TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act will improve training for law enforcement by boosting resources for the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program to develop and implement the trainings.
The bill will also require new trainings be included in the Police Mental Health Collaboration Kit, a no-cost training tool that provides resources for law enforcement agencies to effectively respond to calls for service.
“Improved training for law enforcement officers to handle cases of post-traumatic stress or head trauma will improve public safety, support mental health, and reduce the devastation of severe brain injuries,” Sen. Ossoff said.
“It’s important that our police and all first responders are empowered with the resources they need to address a variety of emergencies, including incidents that involve people with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder. Our legislation would provide departments with crisis intervention tools that can help de-escalate situations and improve outcomes for everyone involved,” Sen. Grassley said.
“First responders answer the call for help from people in crisis situations on a daily basis—including many who are suffering from traumatic brain injuries or PTSD. By equipping law enforcement with special training, we can better support those who are suffering, including our brave veterans,” Sen. Kennedy said.
Click here to read the TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act.
Sens. Ossoff and Grassley’s bipartisan bill is widely supported by law enforcement and mental health organizations, including:
- The Georgia Fraternal Order of Police (Georgia FOP)
- Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
- Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA)
- Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA)
- Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA)
- National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO)
- National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC)
- National Sheriffs Association (NSA)
- Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD (SBA)
- National District Attorneys Association (NDAA)
- National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA)
- Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
“Training is a foundation for effective law enforcement. We support any legislation that offers law enforcement-related training to give officers the tools they need to do their job,” said Jamy Steinberg, President of the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police and Carlton Stallings, National Trustee of the Georgia FOP.
“Law enforcement officers are increasingly on the front lines in responding to and intervening in mental and behavioral health crises, including individuals affected by traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. The TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act would make training and guidance available to departments to help support improved responses and outcomes to interactions between law enforcement officers and persons affected by TBI and PTSD,” said Mick McHale, President, National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). “This legislation also recognizes that law enforcement and first responders are among those in our communities who suffer from these afflictions and requires the CDC to do a study on the prevalence of TBI and PTSD in the profession. We thank Senators Ossoff and Grassley for championing this legislation and for his continued support of the law enforcement community.”
“Law enforcement officers sometimes encounter individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The tools and training included in the TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act will help officers respond to and resolve these calls for service as safely as possible. The required CDC study on the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries within the law enforcement profession will also be an essential step in promoting officer health and wellness. The MCCA thanks Senator Ossoff for supporting our brave law enforcement officers by introducing this legislation,”said Laura Cooper, Executive Director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
“Law enforcement officers and prosecutors face challenges responding to mental and behavior health crises on a daily basis. Increasing resources, improving training, and providing guidance from the Attorney General will play a significant role in assisting those who protect our communities in safely interacting with community members who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injuries or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” said Nelson Bunn, Executive Director, National District Attorneys Association. “This legislative proposal takes the much-needed step by offering the support law enforcement needs to keep our communities safe while also asking the Federal government to better understand the health challenges facing line officers and prosecutors who protect the communities we live in.”
“We thank Senators Ossoff and Grassley for addressing such an important issue – people with mental illness who are in crisis deserve a compassionate and thoughtful response from first responders. Every community needs their law enforcement to have the tools to better respond when they are called to intervene in a mental health crisis. We appreciate Sens. Ossoff and Grassley introducing this bill and see it as a step in the right direction,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
The bill is the Senate companion to the U.S. House of Representative’s TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act, introduced by Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr., John Rutherford, Don Bacon, and Val Demings.
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